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Why Physical Therapy Did Not Work For You

I have conversations with athletes daily who have been dealing with chronic injuries. Some have worked with a physical therapist or chiropractor in the past. Some are working with one at the present time. All continue to have pain even after many months of doing all the right things.

The conversations tend to go something like this:

Me: That’s great you are going to PT. What is the PT doing with you?

Athlete: Scraping, cupping, needling, massage, stretching.

Me: Cool. And what exercises are you doing?

Athlete: Different strengthening exercises for _____.

Me: What are you paying attention to or working to change with the exercises?

Athlete: Ummmm…

Several scenarios could be going on here:

  • The athlete was given the proper exercises and proper cues for things to correct, but has not been educated on what they are working on. (Not usually the case)
  • The athlete was given the proper exercises, but not the proper cues for things to correct with their movements to break the faulty patterns they are stuck in.
  • The athlete was given cookie cutter exercises given to everyone with similar pain without any regard to what is going on with their body.

From what I hear and see when talking with and working with injured athletes, it is usually a combination of scenarios 2 and 3. Many people are given the proper exercises, but no one ever shows them how to do them properly to break the faulty patterns that caused the injury in the first place or the compensation patterns that have developed over the years. Along with that, many are also given the same generic exercises which don’t necessarily address the cause.

What do I mean by that last sentence? Let me give you an example: Knee pain can be caused by many things, including foot issues, hip issues, and back issues. So often I seen people with knee pain given hip strengthening exercises to do, which is great…if the issue is a hip weakness issue. But no one ever assessed whether the issue was coming from somewhere else or if the issue was due to movement pattern faults with activity rather than an actual weakness issue.

I’m not saying physical therapy is a bad thing to do when injured. I am saying that by working with someone who does not take into account all the possible things that could be contributing to your injury and addressing those things that you are wasting your time, energy, and money. You may get better by doing things the way you are, but if you do, it will take significantly longer and the issue will likely return again later.

If you want things resolved quicker and for good, you need to invest the time, energy, and yes, sometimes money, to learn how to retrain your body to move better. Only then will your issues fully resolve.

Feel like you have exhausted all options and don’t know where to turn next? Let’s chat! Schedule a FREE Discovery Call to figure out what your next steps are to overcoming your injury cycle.


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