Top 5 Most Common Physio Questions
We know the information you receive within your physiotherapy consultations might be overwhelming so we have put together a quick resource of commonly asked physiotherapy questions.
1. Am I meant to be sore after treatment?
During your physiotherapy treatment, it is normal to feel discomfort. Releasing soft tissue tension to help you become pain-free is achieved by a variety of physiotherapy techniques including trigger point release, soft tissue massage, dry-needling and many others. You may experience residual soft tissue pain or “soreness” up to 2-3 days after your physiotherapy session. Everyone’s pain tolerance is different so your experience of soreness will also be different to someone else’s. This soreness after physiotherapy sessions will not cause more damage to the area being treated and is considered part of the process of getting better.
2. Do I need to use ice or heat?
Generally ice is used for acute injuries (<6 weeks) where there is localised pain and swelling. It has no effect on reducing the swelling but it has a great analgesic effect (pain relief)! While ice has no healing benefits, it is still recommended if it helps you with pain. We recommend 20 minutes of ice pack use with a towel to avoid ice burns. Heat is generally recommended for soft tissue (muscle) “tightness” and other chronic muscle pathologies. Heat also has an analgesic effect and can provide you a sensation of “relaxing” the muscles. Heat increases the blood flow to the applied area and is not recommended on acute injury sites where localised swelling is observed.
3. Am I better to rest or keep it moving ?
It is important to keep yourself active at all times, especially at the area of injury, to maintain blood flow and avoid developing tight muscles and stiff joints. Complete rest will cause more inflammation build up, restricted joint range of motion and impede on your recovery. We will let you know which activities or movements you should be avoiding.
4. How long will it take to recover?
This is dependent on whether your issue is an acute or chronic injury.
If it is an acute injury that has just recently popped up, this will usually take about 4-6 weeks to recover. If your injury/issue has stuck around for a long time, it is considered chronic and it will generally take more than 6 weeks to see changes in your strength, endurance, posture and function. Of course, there are many factors that influence the recovery time such as completing your physio exercises regularly, avoiding aggravating activities and keeping active as mentioned above.
5. Should I be foam rolling?
Foam rolling is a great way to release tight muscles, trigger points and myofascial tension. It works by using your bodyweight pressure against a high-density foam roller to decrease trigger points and break up scar tissue in the myofascial system. Within your physiotherapy session, we can show you which are the main foam rolling exercises you need to be doing to decrease your pain and increase your mobility. You can read more about foam rolling from our previous blog, Foam Rolling Exercises.