Why is it important to maintain consistent and continuous physical therapy?
Since therapy is a process, it needs time and consistency to have a maximal effect. In many cases, the damage already done to the body is so great that a long time span between sessions can reverse the positive changes that physical therapy already had. Since daily routines with an injury or pain is strenuous to the body, ample therapy is required to reverse the effects of those every day activities; specifically when you have pain. Pain is a response by the brain to make you aware of a troubled area. If you fight this response without attempting to fix it, the body will compensate and overstrain another area to help you carry out your living routines, thus giving you additional problems elsewhere. Often times, majority of patients never have pain ONLY in a single area. This is very non-optimal, and often we end up seeing patients in physical therapy for a different problem in the future because the original problem was not handled quickly and effectively.
Patients forget that the body regions are very much connected and have a great resiliency to sustain pain and trauma. The reason for this mechanism is based on our homeostatic mechanism for survival, and the brain’s ability to override pain quickly so you can get certain things done. This is one of the reasons why you feel the soreness or discomfort on the following day of your therapy session. It is essential in these cases to remain extremely consistent and allow your body to adjust to the healing process; short time frames at more consistent amounts are strongly suggested for optimal results.
The other issue remains in the body’s desire for habitual activities and its ability to resist change due to a set pattern of motion and actions. When pain/body dysfunction is newly introduced to a body, the body’s first response is to get rid of it, fix it, and move on. Why? This pain/dysfunction is foreign, and the body doesn’t like to change its normal routine to accommodate this phenomena. So the body fights and we resist giving it help by accommodating this pain/dysfunction into our busy schedules, giving excuses and taking medications to get by and mask the real issues. The best route to avoid this ultimately harmful response is firmly embedded in an early, immediate action to get rid of the dysfunction before the body gets used to it and then turns the dysfunction into a normal habit of its existence (this can happen in as little as 2 weeks). Basically, the longer you wait, the more your problem becomes a part of you, and you will have to live with it. For those of you who have had a problem for months or years, etc. your body has learned to get by, and is slowly developing compensations that have worked to change the course of your daily life, thus creating a time consuming and arduous effort to reverse. These compensations eventually catch up to you. They build up and arrive when you least expect it; in many cases in forms twice as bad as the original problem. The solution, again, is to address the dysfunction/pain immediately, and resist the body’s habitual system from cementing the dysfunction as a normal disposition in the body. It is clear that the sooner you begin healing treatments, the sooner