February 27, 2023

Things Physical Therapists Hate


Physical therapists often have certain exercises and statements from patients that they dislike. In this article, we will explore five exercises that physical therapists often disapprove of and discuss seven statements or questions patients should avoid making to their physical therapists.

Five Exercises Physical Therapists Hate

1. Head Stands

One exercise that physical therapists often disapprove of is headstands. While headstands may seem impressive and challenging, they pose potential risks to the neck. The unnatural stress on the neck's vertebral segments can lead to injuries and strain on the cervical spine.

2. Hand Stand Push-Ups

Handstand push-ups are another exercise that physical therapists dislike. Performing handstand push-ups can be dangerous, as it puts significant pressure on the wrists, shoulders, and neck. Real-life incidents of injuries related to this exercise highlight the importance of caution and proper form.

3. Heavy Dead Lifts

Although deadlifts can be an effective exercise for building strength, physical therapists caution against performing heavy deadlifts without proper guidance and supervision. Heavy deadlifts can increase the risk of disc herniation, especially if not executed with the correct form and technique.

4. One-Armed Pull-Ups

One-armed pull-ups may seem impressive, but they can cause problems for both beginners and experienced individuals. This exercise puts excessive strain on the forearm muscles and the rotator cuff, increasing the risk of overuse injuries and shoulder instability.

5. Knee Extension Machine

Physical therapists are not fond of the knee extension machine, which can be problematic for patients with patellar tracking problems. This exercise can exacerbate knee pain and potentially worsen the condition. Alternative exercises that target the quadriceps without causing additional stress on the knee joint may be recommended.

Seven Statements Never to Say to Your Physical Therapist

1. "Thanks for Being Such a Great Trainer"

It is important to differentiate physical therapists from personal trainers. Physical therapists have specific qualifications and experience in treating injuries and conditions, focusing on rehabilitation and functional improvement rather than general fitness training.

2. "When Do I Get the Massage?"

Referring to physical therapy as a mere massage undermines the role of exercise and movement in rehabilitation. While some modalities may include manual therapy techniques, physical therapy is a comprehensive treatment approach encompassing various interventions.

3. "There's Nothing Difficult About This Exercise"

Assuming that an exercise is easy may overlook its purpose and the patient's specific needs. It is important to discuss any concerns or difficulties with the physical therapist to ensure proper progression and avoid potential setbacks.

4. "My Pain Level Is Immeasurable"

Understanding and using an appropriate pain scale is crucial in assessing progress and guiding treatment. Exceeding the pain scale can be counterproductive and may indicate the need for adjustments in the treatment plan.

5. "Should I Take the Medicine My Healthcare Provider Prescribed"

While physical therapists play an essential role in rehabilitation, medication management falls within the responsibilities of healthcare providers. You need to consult with the appropriate healthcare professional regarding medication usage and potential interactions with physical therapy.

6. "Why Does My Shoulder Hurt?"

Physical therapists can provide insight into possible causes of pain and offer strategies to alleviate discomfort. However, diagnosing specific conditions falls within the realm of healthcare providers, such as physicians or orthopedic specialists.

7. "The Only Thing You Do Is Tell Others What to Do"

Physical therapists have a range of responsibilities beyond simply instructing exercises. They assess and diagnose conditions, develop personalized treatment plans, educate patients on injury prevention, and collaborate with other healthcare professionals to ensure optimal care.

Best Way to Avoid Miscommunication With Patients

To avoid unnecessary miscommunication and ensure efficient management of patients, PT software like PtEverywhere offers helpful features such as patient portals, messaging, Home Exercise Programs (HEP), and telehealth capabilities. These tools facilitate communication between physical therapists and patients, allowing for seamless information exchange and support throughout the rehabilitation process.

In conclusion, understanding the exercises that physical therapists dislike and being mindful of the statements or questions to avoid can help build a respectful and collaborative relationship with your physical therapist. By maintaining open communication, following their guidance, and utilizing PT management software like PtEverywhere, patients can optimize their rehabilitation journey and achieve their desired outcomes.