When you are injured, it can be difficult to get back your previous level of mobility. While you will probably need a short period of time to rest in order to recover from an injury, physical therapy can be started after this period of rest to address concerns with your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. If you try to ignore going to physical therapy, you can end up with chronic pain. The pain you feel is a result of abnormal movements your body uses to compensate for any physical problems you are having after an injury. You might have an abnormal gait, and this will lead to further problems if not addressed with physical therapy treatment.
Understanding the Basics of Muscle Guarding
Consider that you injured your knee while out hiking. After a few days of rest, your knee doesn't feel much better. You find yourself limping around the house just trying to get through your day. If you ignore the problem and the pain persists, you will start using movements to guard the muscles that hurt when you move. A knee injury can end up causing pain in your hip, lower back, or ankle, depending on how you change your gait in an effort to avoid the pain. Over time, the abnormal gait is going to cause you different problems with mobility and pain.
When Immobility Sets In
If your knee injury has been chronic, immobility can set in when it is painful for you to move. To avoid the pain, you stop doing the activities you once loved. While in the short term avoiding pain is helpful, it is not useful over the long term and for the future mobility of your knee joint. Your hamstrings are going to get weak, your quads won't be strong enough, and you will discover that it becomes even more difficult for you to walk over time. A physical therapist, like those represented at https://www.towncenterorthopaedics.com/, can work with you to strengthen the muscles of your leg and improve the range of motion in your knee.
Some conditions may prohibit your ability to heal with physical therapy alone. You may need surgery to correct an arthritic knee, or one that has ligament tears or tendon issues. Once your doctor determines that your knee pain is not a structural issue, you can begin to work hard in physical therapy to get your strength back. Over time, you will see improvement when you attend physical therapy services on a regular basis.