Reply To: Physical therapy

May 2, 2017 at 11:42 am

Fellow, therapists deal with muscle shrinkage by stretching them over a long period of therapy. It can’t be rushed. This can be painful and is the reason some people call them “physical terrorists,” but it need not be that bad. I had an excellent PT. When I entered my final in-patient rehab unit, I was unable to fully extend my legs, i.e. to put my leg completely flat in a supine position without support at the knee. This was due to muscle contraction. The PT corrects this by holding the leg up up and forcing it to straighten. The key is to do it slowly and carefully and stretch it just enough so that the pain is tolerable. Then it is held in that position for some period of time. The procedure is repeated every day until the muscle is back where it should be. It probably took about three weeks for my legs to get stretched out. It can’t be rushed.

A PT who does this too quickly without enough attention to the amount of stretching, might say “it’s supposed to hurt.” It is, but a PT who hurts the patient more than necessary is just not very good at it.