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I am sore after my Physio treatment, what does this mean?

Experiencing soreness after a physiotherapy treatment is a relatively common occurrence and is generally considered normal in many cases. The soreness you are feeling is often referred to as “post-treatment soreness”

Your physiotherapist will need to conduct an assessment of your condition to determine the best treatment. Sometimes this can cause some increase in soreness, however, assists your Physio to pin point the area and cause of your pain.

Treatment is then directed towards the cause of your pain. While your Physio is determining the pressure and level of treatment appropriate for your individual needs, you may experience mild soreness, which then informs our adjustments to treatments.

Some of the reasons for post-treatment soreness include:

  • Muscle Activation: During physiotherapy, your therapist may have targeted specific muscles or areas of your body to promote healing and recovery. As a result, those muscles might have been worked more than usual, leading to temporary soreness.
  • Increased Blood Flow: Physiotherapy treatments often involve techniques that improve blood circulation to the affected areas. This increased blood flow can result in mild inflammation, which may contribute to the sore feeling, however promotes healing in the area.
  • Manual Therapy: Techniques like deep tissue massage or joint mobilizations can also cause soreness as they work on releasing tension and improving joint movement. This can cause some superficial tenderness.

It’s important to note that post-treatment soreness should be mild to moderate and typically resolves within a day or two. If the soreness is severe, persists for an extended period, or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms like intense pain, swelling, or redness, it’s essential to contact your physiotherapist to discuss your concerns.

To help alleviate post-treatment soreness, you can consider the following self-care measures:

  • Rest: Allow your body adequate time to recover and heal.
  • Ice: Applying ice to the sore areas for 15-20 minutes at a time can help reduce inflammation and numb the area.
  • Gentle Movement: Engage in light activities or gentle stretching to promote blood flow and prevent stiffness.
  • Hydration: Stay well-hydrated to support your body’s natural healing processes.
  • Over-the-counter Pain Relief: If needed, over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen can help manage discomfort (consult with a healthcare professional before using any medication).

Remember that physiotherapy aims to improve your overall well-being and address specific issues, and some level of soreness may be part of the recovery process. Communication with your physiotherapist is essential, as they can tailor the treatment to ensure your comfort and progress throughout your healing journey. Please ensure you let your Physio know if you experienced post-treatment soreness.


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