Is It Normal To Be In Pain After Physical Therapy?

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is a type of therapy aimed at relieving pain and enhancing the quality of life.

If you suffer from an injury, sickness, or workplace pain, physical therapy might be possible:

  • Relieve pain
  • Improve mobility and flexibility
  • Improve balance
  • Prevent or treat sports injuries
  • Prevent patients from requiring surgery
  • Rehabilitate after a stroke
  • Recover after you give birth
  • Improve posture and workplace ergonomics
  • And more…

A licensed health practitioner with specific qualifications is a physical therapist.

Before devising an individualized care plan tailored to your illness, physical therapists will assess you and determine your condition.


One of physical therapy patients’ most common concerns is that the therapy will aggravate the discomfort they are already feeling.

We’re having that. Who’s going to put themselves through that?

However, no therapy should ever cross the line between unpleasant and painful by good contact with your physical therapist.

Each patient is different, and each has its own pain tolerance, which is why contact is so important.

During the recovery, therapists are qualified to pay careful attention to you and will do all they can to alleviate the pain.

Does that mean you won’t feel any discomfort?

Not necessarily.

Think about it this way…

You have probably felt soreness in your muscles for the next few days if you have ever worked out in a way that your body is not used to, or maybe you spent a day gardening.

A good pain, or discomfort, is an essential part of the process of healing.

Your body will begin to heal and the pain will continue to diminish as you put time and effort into your therapy.

Your involvement is the secret to effective physical therapy. Put the effort in, even though it’s awkward, and you’ll see results.

Should Physical Therapy Hurt?

Physical therapy does not hurt if carried out by a certified physical therapist.

But it can be demanding.

You will have to work, and during and after each session, you will experience pain and soreness.

Don’t let you get discouraged by this.

You have to train your body in order to get stronger. This can include deep stretches and workouts that push the limits of your comfort, but it should never be painful.

Every patient responds differently to therapy, so it’s important to note that if it’s too painful or unpleasant, the therapy can be changed.

Ultimately, sharing your basic expectations as well as your responses to the therapy would help your recovery.


You are the most significant aspect of your healing.

A recovery plan will be established by your physical therapist, but that plan will only work if you want it to.

Imagine this…

Let’s say you’re recovering from knee surgery, and your doctor gives you exercises in the affected region to increase your range of motion and create strength.

You start to experience discomfort when you exercise.

As you move on, it gets worse, but you don’t want to embarrass yourself or make your therapist feel terrible, so you’re not saying something.

You start finding that your knee is swollen over the next few days and you’re having trouble putting weight on it.

Do you think you’ll want to go back to therapy or do any of the at-home exercises prescribed by your therapist?

Probably not.

The only way to keep something like this from happening is to connect with your therapist at every step of your rehab, and it’s the only way to speed up your recovery.

Are You Looking for Post Operative Rehabilitation? 

Pace Physical Therapy in San Jose, California specializes in Post Operative Rehabilitation and recovery therapies.  We pride ourselves on offering the best possible physical therapy available and going above and beyond for our patients. Our highly experienced physical therapist will work with you to improve your function and relieve your pain. At Pace Physical Therapy, individualized post-surgical recovery not only minimizes your pain and speeds up the healing time, but it can also decrease the chances of postoperative complications, including infections, bleeding, blood clots, muscle fatigue, scar tissue, reduced function, and other factors that can affect your long-term health negatively. The ability to help you minimize or fully stop prescribed painkillers, including opioids, is another important justification for choosing post-surgical physical therapy. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!