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Are there any disadvantages related to physiotherapy?

Medikoe Health Expert

Medikoe Health Expert

  Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru     May 20, 2019

   5 min     



Physiotherapy is a crucial element in recovering a patient after injury, illness, and surgery. Physiotherapy is often prescribed to people of all ages- young and old. Whether you are suffering from pain from a recent injury or chronic pain, your doctor might recommend you to give it a try. 

The principal objective of physiotherapy is to help identify, manage, and limit pain. By using methods such as electrical stimulation and ultrasound, a doctor can help reduce pain and promote healing. This is done through movement, exercise, knowledge, and advice.

Disadvantages of Physiotherapy

Even though it has several positive advantages, there are a few limitations to physiotherapy. Normally, it is practised after other modes of treatment have failed. It is done in case of minor distress or pain that lingers for a long period. When the purpose of therapy is to improve movement in the body, then other treatment approaches may be prescribed. For instance, patients with spinal cord injuries should use physiotherapy to accomplish the best outcomes. Spinal cord injuries can end up as unchanging harm if left untreated for a long time.

Nevertheless, not all discomforts and pain are fixable by physiotherapy. Several physical conditions such as diabetes, pulmonary conditions and cardiac conditions can't be treated by performing physiotherapy. As a consequence, patients are recommended to explore additional treatments for certain conditions. For example, if a patient has diabetes, a doctor should be consulted to inhibit the existence of hypoglycemia.

Hence, even though physical therapy can contribute diverse health benefits, it can also have some shortcomings. If the pain is prolonged or severe, it is best to discuss it with a physician first before experiencing physiotherapy. You might just want to follow your doctor's directions to prevent further injury to your body.

Pain with gain

One of the significant disadvantages you have during physiotherapy is pain. Your significant pain can actually increase as soon as you rehabilitate and recover, and this can lead to confusion and poor motivation. Therefore, it is essential to discuss these questions with your physiotherapist to determine if alternative healing interventions will reduce the pain and allow for better participation. In order to reduce pain, your physiotherapist may suggest oral pain medications 30 minutes before a session. Ice, heat or topical treatment can reduce pain after a session, as instructed by your doctor.


Another common disadvantage of physiotherapy is inflammation or swelling. During the session, your physiotherapist challenges your ligaments, muscles, and tendons to strengthen them. To this, your body may respond with increased swelling or oedema. Oedema can lead to additional functional limitations and pain. Discuss the issue with your physiotherapist and find alternative treatments, such as using a hot and then cold or using an ice post-therapy to help control inflammation, which can reduce swelling and pain as well as enhance circulation.

Lack of outcome

In any medical intervention, participation in physical therapy is not guaranteed to restore or fully resolve the symptoms. Because it can be disappointing, you may be convinced to stop the treatment in the middle of the session. However, discontinuation of the physiotherapy session in the middle is not encouraged as it can worsen your case and can result in re-injury and long-term pain. Discuss your personal goals with your therapist and ask them to adjust the direction of treatment according to your requirement. Also, make possible lifestyle changes to facilitate improved results.

Therefore, although physiotherapists are highly trained professionals, and most patients will reap benefits physically from therapy, there are several drawbacks.

Psycho-emotional issues

You may underestimate the emotional and psychological stress you will experience in combination with your therapy. Continuous appointments, unsatisfactory progress, pain, and a long time spent in treatment can limit your schedule. Discuss the problem with your physiotherapist as well as your family and friends. Being active for stress and the issues you face, you can control your situation and respond to changes in productivity that are both short-term and long-term.

Physiotherapy can be very expensive. 

Physiotherapy can be very costly, acknowledging the fact that the patient had an injury and has come from the hospital recently. Patients spend a lot of money in clinics and hospitals, and at the same time, they are expected to pay for physiotherapy. This can be a bit challenging to some people. Health insurance indeed covers some or the entire cost; however, it takes a certain amount of time and really procedural follow-ups.

It is the responsibility of a patient to provide for any extra costs aside from the paid therapy session. For patients who can hardly get out of their homes, therapists are expected to travel to their places if the patients are able to provide their transportation cost. There is a difficulty for some of the patients since raising such amounts of money can be a challenge.

 Limited equipment. 

The availability of many larger tools and machines used for physiotherapy has been a challenge for some time now. Patients who need intense therapy that might be too costly and challenging to acquire and remain at a disadvantage as some of the therapists do not have many capabilities to obtain them. Sometimes it can become very challenging to obtain comprehensive therapy because of the shortage of this equipment.

Age barrier

A large number of patients who need physical therapy are mostly aged people since they have various health issues and complications. There are many exercises that are indeed beneficial to them, yet their bodies can not perform.

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Tags:  Physiotherapy,pain,disadvantages of physiotherapy,Physiotherapy

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