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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

DO I NEED PHYSICAL THERAPY?

Q: I tend to be one of those people who waits for aches and pains to go away, while my training partner heads to see her physical therapist or chiropractor when she’s hurting. How do I know when to go and when not to?
A: For starters, learn to recognize the difference between pain and soreness. Muscles get sore after a workout because you’ve torn them down and, so long as you haven’t overdone it, they will rebuild themselves bigger and stronger. If the soreness is mild, it’s fine to continue exercising that week so long as you warm up with some dynamic stretching. Sore muscles are part of the process, but painful tendons are not. If your tendons, which fasten muscle to bone, get inflamed it’s time to back off exercise. If the pain is sharp and doesn’t go away after 12 to 48 hours of ice, it’s time to call your therapist. If the pain limits your range of motion, and is accompanied by numbness or swelling, get it checked out.

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