Physical therapy is one of the fastest growing occupations across the U.S. workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the physical therapy industry is projecting a 25% increase between now and 2026. If you’re planning on visiting a physical therapy center for the first time, you might be a little nervous, but you should know that scheduling an appointment with a trusted physical therapist can work wonders for any serious pain you’ve been dealing with.
Here are some common questions that people ask before heading to a physical therapy center for the first time:
- Does physical therapy hurt? — Certain stretches and exercises might cause a little discomfort, but if you’re visiting a physical therapist in order to address intense chronic pain, it will be well worth it. Your physical therapist will be tending to the areas of your body that need to increase both flexibility and strength. After your appointment, you might feel a little tired or sore, similar to the feeling you get after working out, but the pain will be much less severe than it would be if you ignored your chronic pain.
- How long do physical therapy sessions last? — Typically, physical therapy sessions last around an hour. It’s best to continually visit your physical therapist throughout the week, as well — two to three times a week is recommended for optimal pain management. Keep in mind, there are a few factors that can affect the amount of treatment you’ll need during each season, including age, diet, amount of physical activity you’re getting, any medications you’re on, and the severity of your injury.
- What should I wear to my physical therapy session? — You should try and wear very comfortable clothing during your session so it’s best to dress like you’re going for a run. Wear a loose T-shirt so it can be adjusted and your shoulders can be exposed; wear loose pants or knee-shorts; and wear appropriate footwear (athletic shoes) instead of high heels or sandals because you’ll have to perform certain exercises on your feet.
Whether you’ve suffered a sports injury or have been dealing with chronic pain for a while, physical therapy can be great for improving your overall wellbeing.