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Physical Therapy FAQs

Physical Therapy FAQs

1) What makes Reflex Physical Therapy ‘different’? 

At Reflex Physical Therapy, we not only look for our patient’s short-term improvements in pain and function. Reflex physical therapists strive to empower our patients to manage their bodies more effectively over the long term with less pain and more control. We understand that all patients are different and treat everyone individually. Patients frequently state after an evaluation with their Reflex PT, “I have never been evaluated that thoroughly before” and “No one has ever asked me those questions before”.  

At Reflex Physical Therapy, we use evidence-based research and years of combined clinical experience to provide our patients with high-quality and effective clinical care. We are experts in being able to find the areas causing or contributing to the pain.  We also focus on identifying factors that are contributing to knee mechanics, since joint instability is a major cause of knee pain due to dysfunctional biomechanics.  Reflex Physical Therapists are skilled manual therapists and experts in exercise prescription and understand all the proper steps needed in order to return our patients successfully back to a state of improved function with sustained, long-term results.

 

2) If I get sore after my physical therapy session, what should I do? 

Soreness is different than ‘pain’. Some soreness after your physical therapy session should be considered normal, mostly as we get towards the strengthening and retraining phases of your rehab. However, this soreness should not affect your sleeping, or cause you to limp or feel like you need to compensate or favor that limb.  You should not see a dramatic increase in knee swelling. This soreness should also not limit your ability to load the tissue again over the next 24-48 hours. Differentiating soreness from pain is not easy to do. If your soreness is severe, let your Physical Therapist know at the following session so they can adjust your program accordingly. Drink plenty of water on days you have physical therapy, as this will help decrease your overall soreness. Ice and elevation techniques can also be used to lessen discomfort. 

 

3) How long will it take for me to get better, or be pain free? 

Every patient’s timeframe to discharge is different and depends on many factors, such as:  

- How long have the symptoms been occurring, was there trauma, or did the pain come on insidiously?  

- What is the history of injuries/pain to this area or in the surrounding body areas? 

Along with questions like these, we also take into consideration what your occupation demands are like, what type of exercise you prefer, and all other work/life factors that could be contributing to your present issues. We will educate you on the expected time frames that it will take to recover and help guide you all along the way.  

 

4) How often should I perform my physical therapy exercises at home? 

Your physical therapist will discuss the specifics of your home program and your recovery plan with you.

If we are looking to improve mobility, typically this improves over time. Exercises for mobility should be performed frequently during the day in order to create the needed change.

If the goal is to improve endurance, or to train newly gained movement, generally these exercises are performed 1-2x/day.

In the strengthening phase of rehab, it may be appropriate to perform the home program every other day, or only 3-4x/week.

Your home program will be designed individually for you, your needs, and your abilities. Your physical therapist is highly skilled at knowing how to modify and adapt for your specific needs, with your goals in mind. If you choose to skip days or are not committed to performing your exercises, your outcome following physical therapy may be compromised.

 

5) How long does a typical physical therapy session last? 

All of your physical therapy appointments will last at least 45 minutes. You may want to plan to arrive 10-15 minutes earlier than your scheduled appointment time to account for bad traffic, change into physical therapy attire, or complete a warm-up.  

 

6) Will my physical therapy treatment be painful? 

Your Physical Therapy session should not be overly painful. It is not about the old concept, ‘no pain, no gain’. Yes, there are some manual therapy techniques that can be slightly uncomfortable, but your therapist should discuss this with you in advance and go over possible side-effects such as soreness or bruising.

You may experience mild discomfort with various exercises, but much of that is necessary to create the appropriate change in the tissue that we are looking for. Chronically affected tissue has an increased amount of nociceptive fibers (increase in nerve fibers) in the area, so if we are looking at rebuilding that tissue it has to be slightly uncomfortable when we work it or it will not adapt as we need it to.

Also, many exercises and manual therapy interventions will actually feel good and are designed to decrease your pain. If you ever feel overly sore after a PT session, make sure to talk to your Physical Therapist at the next visit, and he/she will reassess you and alter your care plan as necessary. Your success is a Team effort, so good communication between you and your PT is vital for the best outcomes in your sessions.  

 

7) Do Reflex Physical Therapists only treat knees?

Our physical therapists specialize in treating knee pain, but are also trained and very capable of treating any body part. 

Knee pain is often related to dysfunction in other parts of the body such as lower back, hips, or foot/ankle.  Even neck or shoulder pain may impact gait and contribute to knee pain.  For these reasons, our physical therapists evaluate the entire body to see what may be impacting the knee pain.  

If any of our patients have a separate pain issue (such as neck or shoulder pain), our physical therapists are highly skilled in treating any musculoskeletal pain in the body.

 

8) How much training does my Physical Therapist have? 

Physical Therapists are now required to obtain their Doctorate degrees of Physical Therapy (DPT) to practice. If a Physical Therapist attended PT school a while back, he/she may still have a Master’s Degree, but they also have years of clinical experience under their belt.

At Reflex Physical Therapy, our Physical Therapists are some of the best in the industry. Our therapists have specialization in manual therapy and they all have extensive years of experience in outpatient physical therapy. They understand the kinetic chain and the influence of one body area on the next, and which particular issues lead to chronic dysfunction and pain. The evaluation your physical therapist performs will likely be the most thorough you have ever received, and will get you on a path towards recovery that makes sense for you and your goals. Read more about the Reflex Physical Therapist’s qualifications and education on our provider’s team page. 

 

Call 503-719-6783 today to schedule your initial evaluation!

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