Shoulder Pain Worse After Physical Therapy
Is it possible that you may feel even worse after a physical therapy session? Is it possible that you could be in so much pain that you don’t want to move for days? Should you be sore after physical therapy? Yes. And when I say yes, I mean it! Why? Because when you are mobilizing, stretching, and strengthening the affected area you are going to be required to do exercises and movements that can cause soreness after your session.
You see, what happens is this. As we age our bodies become less flexible and more prone to injury. We also lose muscle mass which leaves us weaker than before. In order to compensate for these losses, people tend to rely on their joints to do all of the work instead of using muscles, ligaments, and bones as they were intended. This puts an extra strain on those joints, causing wear and tear over time. The end result being joint pain and stiffness.
Physical therapists specialize in helping patients strengthen weak areas, improve flexibility, increase range of motion, decrease pain, prevent injuries, and reduce disability. They teach proper body mechanics by teaching posture, movement patterns, how to safely perform daily activities, and how to prevent falls. What is important here is that they help restore normal function through exercise and mobility techniques.
When you go to physical therapy, they will evaluate your condition, discuss treatment options with you, provide education about how to take care of yourself, treat injured or ill limbs, and show you how to properly use assistive devices such as crutches, braces, walkers, etc. If you need surgery, then they will design a rehabilitation plan just for you.
They will explain to you why your symptoms occur, how long they normally last, and if there is any way to stop them from happening. They will also give you tips on how to deal with flare-ups while preventing future problems. You will learn how to stretch properly, warm up and cool down, how to avoid aggravating your problem, and how to build strength and endurance.
Most importantly, they will let you know how to maintain good health. A big part of physical therapy is making sure that the patient gets plenty of rest, eats healthy foods, maintains a positive attitude, keeps hydrated, does cardio workouts, and follows other recommended lifestyle changes that promote good health.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, during the course of your physical therapy sessions, you will definitely experience some discomfort because of the exercises and movements used. It is completely natural and common. However, if you happen to notice that the discomfort persists longer than usual, or if it becomes unbearable, or if you are experiencing sudden sharp pains, then you should consult with your therapist immediately.
If your physical therapist determines that you are indeed suffering from shoulder pain, he/she will most likely refer you to another specialist who specializes in treating shoulder ailments. But if you decide to wait until that happens, you must keep in mind not to move the painful area, especially if it is swollen, since doing so might make matters worse. Do not try to self-diagnose. Go straight to your doctor once you start feeling pain.
Here are some things to consider regarding whether you should seek medical attention right away:
1) Are you experiencing severe pain?
Pain is something that everyone experiences at one point or another, yet severe pain requires immediate medical attention. Pain that lasts more than 48 hours warrants a visit to the physician. If you’re in doubt, call your doctor.
2) Has your pain spread to other parts of your body?
If your pain has spread to other parts of your body, like your back, neck, head, or legs, then it is time to get checked out. These conditions may require specific treatments and medications.
3) Have you had previous shoulder surgeries or injuries?
If you’ve undergone prior shoulder surgeries or suffered an injury, then you should be aware that you may need additional tests and consultation with your surgeon. There may be complications involved, so it is best to consult with your doctor first.
4) How old are you?
Your bone density plays a huge role in determining whether or not you’re able to undergo certain procedures. For example, if you are elderly (over 70), you may have poor bone density. Your doctor will determine if you are eligible to receive injections.
5) Are you pregnant?
Pregnancy causes hormonal imbalances resulting in increased swelling. Therefore, it is essential to consult with your doctor beforehand.
6) Are you diabetic?
Diabetes affects many bodily functions including blood sugar levels. Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to several serious complications, such as nerve damage, heart disease, foot infections, and poor wound healing. Consultation with your doctor is highly advised.
7) Are you taking any medication?
Some prescription drugs can interact badly with each other or with other supplements, herbs, or vitamins you may be taking. Therefore, it is always advisable to consult with your doctor before starting any new supplement or drug.
8) Are you allergic to anything?
Certain allergies can trigger reactions that may include hives, rashes, chest tightness, breathing difficulties, and difficulty sleeping. Allergic reactions can vary greatly among individuals. So it is important to speak with your doctor in advance.
9) Do you smoke?
Smoking increases the risk of cancer and lung diseases. Smoking cessation programs are available at smoking quit lines such as QuitNet and nicotine replacement therapies such as patches, gum, inhaler, lozenges, nasal spray, and sublingual tablets. Talk to your doctor about quitting smoking today.
10) Do you drink alcohol?
Alcohol consumption can alter your liver function. Chronic excessive drinking can harm the organ’s ability to filter toxins from the bloodstream. Signs of heavy drinking may include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, black eyes, slurred speech, slowed reflexes, drowsiness, loss of coordination, impaired judgment, confusion, weakness, clammy skin, rapid heartbeat, seizures, unconsciousness, fainting, vision impairment, hearing impairment, memory loss, kidney failure, high blood pressure, stroke, and death. Speak with your doctor about reducing or eliminating alcohol intake.
11) Are you underweight?
Underweight individuals tend to suffer from osteoporosis, chronic illnesses, low energy levels, and fatigue. To maintain a healthy weight, eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day; choose lean proteins, whole grains, and dairy products; limit sodium intake; and engage in regular moderate-intensity cardiovascular activity.
12) Do you have a family history of genetic disorders?
Genetic disorders are hereditary. Having a family member who suffers from genetic disorders usually means that you are at higher risk of developing similar conditions. Many forms of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, and Parkinson’s disease are examples of genetic disorders.
13) Are you overweight?
Being overweight increases the chance of developing hypertension, type 2 diabetes, gallbladder stones, sleep apnea, gout, arthritis, respiratory problems, and some types of cancer. Being obese makes it harder to control cholesterol levels, insulin sensitivity, and glucose tolerance. Weight gain occurs due to overeating, lack of physical activity, eating too much saturated fat, and having a sedentary lifestyle. Talk to your doctor about losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight.
14) Are you currently on steroids?
Long-term steroid usage can weaken bone structure and increase vulnerability to fractures. Steroids also carry the potential risk of infection and gastrointestinal bleeding. Discuss this matter with your doctor.
15) Do you regularly consume caffeine?
Caffeine is found in coffee, soda, chocolate, and tea. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, dilates pupils, and raises the level of alertness. Some side effects associated with caffeine intake include headaches, upset stomach, dry mouth, palpitations, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, tachycardia, tremor, flushing, and jittery hands. Limit caffeinated beverages and food items.
16) Are you breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding provides numerous benefits for both mother and child. Breast milk contains antibodies that protect infants against infectious diseases, hormones that stimulate infant growth and development, nutrients, and immune factors that boost immunity. Discuss the subject with your doctor.
17) Are you taking any herbal remedies?
Herbs contain active ingredients called constituents. Certain constituents can interfere with the functioning of the human body. Herbs can produce various adverse effects ranging from mild to life-threatening. Always check with your pharmacist or doctor before adding any herb to your regimen.
18) Are you planning to conceive?
The safety of pregnancy varies according to the woman’s overall health status. Pregnant women are vulnerable to viral infections, rubella, herpes simplex virus, influenza, chicken pox, mumps, measles, pertussis, and tetanus. Vaccination is strongly recommended for pregnant women to ensure adequate protection.
19) Are you traveling to tropical countries?
Mosquitoes are known carriers of malaria, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus, Chikungun
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