Will traditional physical therapy fix your injury?

In today’s episode we are covering the idea on if traditional physical therapy will actually fix your injury.

 

The key word here is the word traditional.

 

When I think of traditional I think of the following:

 

Stretching.

Heat/Ice.

Electric stim.

Exercises.

 

So before any PT’s out there who “specialize” come and jump on my case I wanted to make it clear what I am talking about. 

 

This happens all the time as follows:

 

You get injured and go to your PCP. They prescribe some medications that don’t end up working so they refer you out to a PT to “try” some therapy.

 

That therapy usually consists of the things listed above and a lot of exercises to help “strengthen” the area.

 

Because common thinking says: “ If its weak we must just need it to be stronger.”

 

Wrong. 

Wrong.

Wrong!

 

Exercises are overprescribed every single day and usually isn't the right thing for what you need to start off.

 

This doesn't stop 90 percent of musculoskeletal practitioners from starting off with exercises for the majority of the problems they see.

 

Don’t get me wrong, exercises are great in the right context and time frame, but they should never be your first go-to to fixing an injury.

 

What always happens is there is damage to the tissue, be it a tear or an accumulation of adhesion.

 

That then leads to altered range of motion. When range of motion is altered it causes the muscles to downgrade or weaken to help protect the joint, similar to when you limp when you sprain your ankle.

 

Your body knows what it is doing and doing exercises to work around that can actually cause more harm than good.

 

The first step is always to restore range of motion first and that comes from getting the tissue healthier through manual methods or an instrument. 

 

So if you are doing PT and they start off right away with exercises and stretches, but don’t clean up the tissue first you are going to fail.

 

Fix the range first, then strengthen. Always!