The number one reason people consult with a physical therapist -or – What to do about worry waves.

worry waves Jun17th 2020

Each time I work with a new patient, I ask them what their goals are for coming to see me.  The answer is almost universal, “I want to be pain-free again.”

What they don’t know is that, in many cases, it’s their worry waves that are partially responsible for keeping them in pain.

What are worry waves?

To teach you about this important concept I’m going to use the words my 8 year-old friend used the other day when we were working on rebuilding the deck.

Out of nowhere, while we were figuring out the length of the next board, he said, “You know, when you hurt yourself the pain gets a lot worse because of your worry waves.”

I couldn’t resist.  “Oh really?” I said.  “Tell me about these worry waves.”

“Well,” he said, “If you’re scared about the pain you’re feeling, then it makes the pain feel stronger.”

I couldn’t put it better myself!

By the time folks have gotten themselves to a physical therapist, most have already tried a few strategies to remedy the problem on their own:

~ they’ve read up about their condition on the internet

~ tried some exercises on YouTube

~ waited as long as they could to see if the pain would go away on its own.

Because the body is a self-correcting/self-healing machine, the passing of time and some TLC can go a long way toward helping ailments of minor to moderate severity.

But all the while, Worry waves make us think things like this:

Is this problem going to be permanent?

“Is this the right exercise to do?”

Should I just keep resting?

Should I stop going to my yoga class? Taking my usual walk? Lifting weights? Bending? Twisting? Working on my core? If I do something that is painful, will it keep me from healing? 
Working with a skilled, compassionate physical therapist can get to the bottom of these questions, thus, very effectively calming your worry waves.


If you, or someone you love, are having ongoing pain that just won’t resolve, consider a trial of physical therapy.  At Essential Physical Therapy, we have decades of experience in helping people heal from all types of muscle and joint problems.  Give us a call at 458-210-2940 or visit the website here

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