I have had chronic back pain for 20 years and have taken medication and exercised, but nothing has helped me as much as physical therapy. It’s important to build up your core muscles, which extend beyond your abs, but don’t include arms and legs.
If you have chronic pain, it’s easy to get a referral from your doctor to see a physical therapist. However, it can be a challenge to work the program.
Here are three reasons why physical therapy may not work:
You’re Not Performing Active Exercises
It feels so good to have an ultrasound treatment or massage at the therapy office. They are relaxing with a nice massage of painful areas, and if I could get away with it, I would take the ultrasound machine home with me. However, you also need a program of active exercises that work the muscles. This includes stretching, strengthening, and low-impact exercises like riding the stationary bike.
Exercises Are Done Incorrectly
On your first visit, the physical therapist gives you a sheet of recommended exercises, and demonstrates the correct way they should be done. I had this problem with the pelvic tilt exercise, and had to have the physical therapist show me what I was doing wrong. If you are experiencing pain when you do your exercises, don’t be afraid to speak up.
You Don’t Continue Exercises at Home
Once your pain seems to be better, it’s tempting to discontinue your exercises, and eventually your pain comes back again. I know it is a drag to have to get down on the floor when all you want to do is relax, but you’ll be glad you did when your pain level improves. Schedule an exercise session on your calendar at least three times a week and stick to it.
How has physical therapy helped your pain level?