Shelby physical therapists can treat and prevent rotator cuff injuries with these strengthening exercises

The rotator cuff—not the “rotator cup” or “rotor cuff,” as some people mistakenly call it—is an important group of muscles and tendons in the shoulder that allows the arm to lift and rotate.  In addition to permitting movement, it stabilizes the shoulder and helps the joint maintain good alignment and posture in many daily activities.  Without the rotator cuff, we’d be unable to perform many common motions that we take for granted.

Based on the fact that the rotator cuff serves such an essential role and is used so frequently, it’s also a common site of injury.  Injuries to the rotator cuff occur most often in people who repeatedly perform overhead motions in their jobs or sports like painters, carpenters and swimmers, tennis and baseball players, especially pitchers.

When these activities are performed regularly for a long period of time—or through the aging process—the rotator cuff tendons eventually become inflamed from over-stretching or repetitive stress, which can lead to pain or injury.  The most common injuries seen are rotator cuff tendinitis (shoulder impingement), shoulder bursitis and rotator cuff tears.  Symptoms of rotator cuff injuries are usually described as a dull ache that’s deep in the shoulder, which makes it difficult to reach behind the back or lift the arm and may be accompanied by arm weakness or sleep disturbance.

When rotator cuff injuries occur from overuse or a single incident, conservative (non-surgical) treatment is typically recommended and should include strengthening exercises prescribed by a physical therapist.  These exercises are effective not only for treating injuries, but can also help prevent them in the first place.  Here are some examples:

  • Pendulum exercises: holding a dumbbell, let your arm hang loose and swing it around in a circle; then try swinging it back and forth using your body
  • Forward flexion shoulder raise: holding a dumbbell, keep your arm straight and lift it directly in front of you until it’s at eye level
  • External rotation: using a resistance band or dumbbell, keep elbow at your side and bent at a 90° angle, and slowly move your hand outwards away from the body
  • Internal rotation: same as external rotation, but move hand towards your body
  • Scapular squeezes: lie on stomach with arms at sides, draw shoulder blades together and down back as far as possible; ease about halfway off from position and hold it
  • “Full can” exercise: stand with arms at side, elbows straight and thumb facing up, raise arms on a diagonal until the hands reach your shoulder

Make sure you are switching arms when performing these exercises on to even it out.  Doing these strengthening exercises on a regular basis can lead to significant improvements and reduce your injury risk, especially if you’re involved in overhead sports.  For more guidance on how to perform these exercises or for any other pain you may be experiencing, out Kings Mountain and Shelby physical therapists can help. Contact Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates in Kings Mountain and Shelby, NC at 704-471-0001 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates in Kings Mountain offers guidance on how to remain active with a bad back

After experiencing an injury or any lasting pain that makes it difficult to perform certain activities, it might sound logical to completely stop all participation in physical activity and rest until the pain subsides. While this may be necessary in some cases, there are many situations when it’ s best to keep moving and stay active in order to improve your condition, and one of these is an extremely prevalent condition: low back pain.

Low back pain is one of the most common types of pain out there, as up to 84% of Americans will experience it at least once in their lives. When low back pain strikes, moving around might be the last thing on your mind, but new research is showing that exercise is actually a necessity for improvement in most cases. In one recent study, patients who exercised regularly were 31% less likely to experience an increase in pain and disability compared to those who spent most of their time resting.

Exercises for the lower back can strengthen the rest of the back, as well as stomach and leg muscles, which will in turn help support the spine and eventually relieve pain. Best of all, regardless of the circumstances or the level of pain, there’s an exercise for nearly everyone with low back pain. What’s most important is doing only the right exercises that are beneficial for the back and avoiding those that aggravate it.

A cardinal rule to keep in mind when making this determination is to try to stick with only low-impact exercises, as anything that puts a lot of pressure on the feet will put a strain on the back. Below are some examples of the best activities for a bad back—as well as some activities to avoid—to help you keep moving during this time:

  • Swimming: most exercise done in the water is beneficial and safe for back pain, and many consider swimming to be the best activity out there for it; the water provides both support and resistance, and also has a soothing effect
  • Brisk walking: walking at a pace fast enough to break a sweat for 15-30 minutes almost every day can lead to significant benefits for the back
  • Yoga/Pilates: these activities accommodate all levels of strength and flexibility, and provide an immediate sense of relief through their gentle motions
  • Biking: another great low-impact aerobic exercise that’s good for the back
  • Stretching: focused stretches can provide immediate relief, and stretching also works as a preventative measure by keeping the spine loose
  • Core-strengthening exercises: the core supports the spine, and strengthening it will therefore help back pain; try pelvic tilts, wall sits and partial crunches
  • Avoid: high-impact exercises like running/jogging, tennis, some types of dance, as well as contact sports, volleyball, soccer, snowboarding and any other activities that twist the spine or put too much strain on it should be avoided

You should check with your doctor or physical therapist before starting any new activity, and also remember to stop exercising immediately if it gets too painful. At Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates in Kings Mountain and Shelby, NC, we encourage you to stay active but to do it carefully if you have low back pain. If you need more assistance figuring out which exercises are best for you, or for any other questions, give us a call at 704-471-0001 to schedule an appointment.

Shelby physical therapists break down some common tennis injuries and how they can be prevented

If your idea of exercise is grabbing your set of racquets and heading to the nearest court, you’re probably glad it’s spring and you can actually play tennis outside once again. Tennis is a great form of physical activity that works out many parts of the body, but unfortunately, just like any sport it can also lead to injury.

Tennis can be played on a variety of surfaces like clay, grass, and hard court, and it requires lots of speed, power, balance and coordination in order to play properly. As a result of these factors and the general repetitive nature of tennis, a number of injuries to the elbow, wrist, knees, ankles and spine can occur. The majority of tennis injuries—about 67%—are overuse injuries. This means they come about after performing the same motion repeatedly over time, while traumatic injuries are the result of a single incident and account for the other 33%.

One of the most well-known tennis injuries is lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow, which is an overuse injury of the muscles that help wrist extend. Other common injuries to the upper limbs include rotator cuff tendinitis and wrist strains, which usually occur due to the high velocity of the tennis ball and the repetitive arm motions in tennis.

Injuries to the lower limbs are also very common in tennis and are caused by the sprinting, stopping, pivoting and pounding nature of the sport. These include ankle sprains, knee pain, Achilles tendinitis and tennis toe. Due to the all the rotating of the torso in tennis, back pain and injuries may also come about in some players.

Since most of these injuries are due to overuse, it should be refreshing to know that in many cases, they can be minimized or even prevented with proper conditioning and techniques that will also improve your game. We recommend the following:

  • Always warm up and stretch before playing, and cool down afterwards
  • Be sure you’re using proper footwear and equipment; most tennis shoes are more robust than running shoes due to their multi-directional purposes
  • Maintain adequate fitness and flexibility levels with conditioning exercises that are specific to the physical demands of tennis
  • Perform strengthening exercises, especially for your arms and core muscles, to prevent overuse injuries that occur from weakened muscles
  • Avoid over-repetition of any one type of shot; instead, practice a range of strokes
  • Have an expert evaluate your gameplay to ensure your techniques are being executed correctly, and focus on improving areas that need work
  • Incorporate some non-tennis cross-training into your exercise routine

If tennis is your favorite warm-weather hobby, then you certainly don’t want to be derailed by an injury at any point over the next few months of spring and summer. For more guidance with conditioning and strengthening exercises that will prevent injury, our Kings Mountain and Shelby physical therapists at Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates & Prescription Fitness can help. Call us at 704-471-0001 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Cleveland physical therapists in Kings Mountain offer guidance on exercising during pregnancy and how it can be beneficial

If you’re pregnant, especially if you happen to be further along, getting in some exercise might not sound like the most attractive option.  With the added weight of your growing baby—which will eventually tack on an additional 25-35 pounds towards the end of pregnancy—many activities that were once simple may now come with a completely new level of difficulty, and the motivation to move often decreases as a result.

But the truth is, maintaining a regular exercise routine throughout your pregnancy is one of the best things you can do to help you stay healthy and feel your best.  Though at one point in the not-so-distant past women were told to cut down or even avoid exercise altogether during pregnancy, newer research has come to highlight the many benefits of physical activity, and has turned that logic on its head.

Regular exercise during pregnancy has been found to improve posture, decrease common discomfort like back pain and fatigue, and prevent wear and tear on joints.  The stress-relieving effects of exercise will also help you sleep more soundly at night, and maintaining a proper regimen has been shown to help women regain their pre-pregnancy body much more quickly after giving birth.  Some evidence even suggests that it may prevent diabetes in your developing baby and build more stamina for labor and delivery.

Best of all, so long as it’s the right type of activity and performed with caution, in most cases exercise is completely safe for pregnant women.  A good rule of thumb is if you were physically active before you got pregnant, it’s likely safe for you to remain active at a similar level during pregnancy.  But even if you’ve never exercised before, it doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to get active.  Start small with some short walks or light swimming, and you will still experience some benefits.

Some types of exercise will be easier and more effective during pregnancy, while others should be avoided.  Be sure to check with your obstetrician throughout the pregnancy and before trying any new activities, and know the signs of overworking.  Here are some tips:

  • Aim for a combination of cardio, strength and flexibility exercises
  • Swimming and water aerobics are particularly great for pregnant women because of the buoyancy of water, which gives a relieving floating sensation
  • Other safe and productive activities include brisk walking, stationary bike, step and elliptical machines, low-impact aerobics, yoga and Pilates
  • Jogging is OK if you did it before, but you should modify your pace and routine
  • Avoid the following: any activities with excessive hopping, skipping or jumping, contact sports like softball, basketball and volleyball, activities where the risk of falling is high, waist-twisting motions, deep knee bends and full sit-ups
  • While exercising, you should wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing with good support bras, use proper shoes and equipment, exercise on a flat and level surface, drink plenty of fluids, and eat enough healthy calories to meet your needs
  • Especially in your third trimester, be cautious that your joints are looser to prepare your body for labor, so there is greater potential for sprains; be mindful of balance changes because of this increased weight at the front of your body, and make sure not to exercise while lying on your back for any length of time due to its restriction of blood flow

Yes, being pregnant can make your life a bit more complicated, but that’s no reason to short on your exercise.  Staying on top of your physical fitness could make all the difference throughout and after your pregnancy, and you may experience benefits you never thought possible.  For more information on the best ways to stay active during pregnancy, or to schedule an appointment for any aches or pains, physical therapists in Kings Mountain and Shelby, NC from Cleveland & Associates Physical Therapy can help. Call us at 704-471-0001 to schedule an appointment.

Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates in Shelby wants you to take proper precautions for the spring sports season and reduce injury risk

Spring is finally here and sunny skies are ahead of us for the next few months. The warmer weather also means that spring sports have already started back up. Baseball, track and field, lacrosse, tennis, golf and a number of other sports will soon pick up once again if they haven’t already done so. For young athletes, this can be an exciting time for them to get physically active outdoors in their favorite sport after the long winter.

At the same time, the return to sports also comes with an increased risk of injury for these young athletes. Some athletes enter the spring season after competing in various other sports throughout the rest of the year, and it takes some time for their bodies to adapt to whichever spring sport they’re participating in. Others may not be involved in any sports over the past few months and need extra time to get back into proper shape for the season.

Even athletes who spend most of the year committed to a single sport—like baseball—carry their own injury risk into the spring. Repetitive training in the same sport fails to work other parts of the body, meaning some reflexes and responses are overdeveloped, while others are underdeveloped. These athletes therefore require additional training too.

Overuse injuries, which occur when certain motions are repeated over and over, are especially common this time of year. Players may rush into training without taking enough time to rest and recover. Some of the more common injuries seen in spring sports are labral tears and ulnar collateral ligament tears in baseball, ankle sprains in lacrosse, knee injuries in track and field, and tennis elbow and shoulder injuries in tennis.

The best way to prevent these injuries is by taking steps to make sure young athletes are prepared for the season and encouraging them to not overdo it with training. Here are some tips to help parents and coaches prepare young athletes for spring sports:

  • Perform a functional preparation evaluation, which includes questions like: can you squat all the way down while keeping your feet flat/bend forward and touch your toes/stand on one leg without losing balance; if young athletes have difficulty with any of these movements, certain areas may need to be worked on
  • With the help of a physical therapist, create a conditioning/prevention program to ensure all athletes are in shape for the season
  • Start using a warm-up protocol like PEP (Prevent Injury, Enhance Performance), which addresses potential deficits in strength and coordination
  • Use strength training to rebuild muscles that haven’t been used in a while
  • Encourage young athletes to start out slowly and to gradually increase the intensity of their workouts as the season progresses
  • Make sure athletes stretch thoroughly before and after playing
  • Check all equipment and replace anything that’s worn-out or old

The spring season is a great time for young athletes to make their way back to the baseball diamond or lacrosse field, and it shouldn’t be disturbed by an unnecessary injuries. Follow these tips and if you need more assistance, or for any other aches or pains, Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates in Shelby and Kings Mountain, NC are here to help. Call us at 704-471-0001 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates in Kings Mountain explains the difference between pain and soreness after exercise

Physical activity can lead to a wide array of what seems like countless benefits, and making it part of your regular routine cannot is one of the best things you can do for your body. But in many cases, certain exercises can lead to some discomfort that may get interfere with your performance. While some exercise-related soreness is completely normal, lingering pain is not, and it’s essential to know the difference to prevent injuries.

When we exercise, the body needs to be pushed to a certain level of exertion in order for physical improvements to occur. Our activity threshold mainly is the main determining force here, and it’s different for each person based on factors like age, strength and participation level. So long as you remain on the safe side of this threshold, you can exercise safely and should only feel muscle soreness afterwards. But if you exceed it, pain and possibly injury can result.

One of the many goals of exercise is to increase your personal threshold, and the more you exercise, the higher the threshold will rise, allowing you to perform longer and harder with a lower injury risk. Throughout this process, you should be realistic about your threshold and be able to tell the difference between muscle soreness and pain. Being aware of your limits and not pushing yourself past them will help you to maximize your exercise gain while minimizing your risk of injury.

Pain and soreness have some striking differences that will help you determine if it’s normal or requires medical attention. Here are some of the distinguishing characteristics between the two that you should be aware of next time you exercise:

Muscle soreness

  • Generally described as tender when touching muscles, a tired or burning feeling while exercising, and a dull, tight achy feeling at rest
  • Results from small, safe damage to muscle fibers
  • Occurs during exercise or 24-72 hours afterwards
  • Improves with stretching or after movement, worsens with sitting still
  • Best course of action: resume activities after the soreness subsides


  • Described as an ache or sharp pain in muscles or joints at rest or while exercising
  • Occurs during or within 24 hours of activity; may linger if not treated
  • Improves with ice and rest; worsens with more activity
  • Best course of action: see a doctor if it’s extreme or lasts 1-2 weeks

Refer to these descriptions the next time you experience any discomfort and seek medical help when needed. It’s also important to remember that physical therapists at Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates in Kings Mountain and Shelby, NC can help you throughout this entire process. We can create an exercise program and prepare you for it, discuss strategies to help you progress, and if an injury does occur, we can help you get moving again as safely and quickly as possible. For more information on pain and soreness or to schedule an appointment, call us at 704-471-0001.

Cleveland physical therapists in Shelby offer these 8 stretches to help reduce stress at work

We all experience stress every once in a while, and it often tends to strike at work. Even if you have the perfect job that you love, some stress is bound to be a part of our day at least occasionally. Between keeping up with all the demands of your job and balancing all the other tasks of your life when you’re not at work, stress from all angles can really add up and may become overwhelming at times.

In addition to dampening our moods, dealing with too much stress on a regular basis can have impact us physically as well. Excess stress increases tension in muscles and joints, and over time, this can lead to feelings of stiffness or pain throughout the body.

The fact that many of us spend the majority of our days sitting at a desk doesn’t help much either. The convenience of desk jobs makes it difficult to move around a whole lot, and sitting for most of the day is associated with its own negative health effects, including increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome. Together, this combination can add to stress levels even more.

But just because you work at a desk doesn’t mean you can’t do anything while you’re there. Taking frequent short breaks to stand up and walk around—or switching to a stand-up desk—are great ways to avoid sitting for too long. On top of that, you can perform many effective stretches right from your desk. Stretching regularly will help to strengthen muscles and joints, ease pain and stiffness, improve work performance and release stress and tension, which will all help to boost your mood and energy levels.

Here are 8 stretches to reduce stress at work that can be performed at your desk. Try to hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds and perform them once or twice a day:

  • 1) Ear to shoulder neck stretch: tilt head, bring ear to your shoulder, then use opposite hand to apply slight pressure until you feel a stretch; then switch sides
  • 2) Shoulder stretch: keep shoulders relaxed, cross one arm over your chest, cradle it with opposite hand and apply slight pressure; switch to other arm
  • 3) Upper back stretch: cross arms in front of you and grab chair arms; while grasping, lean back, keeping spine in alignment until you feel stretch
  • 4) Lower back stretch: while keeping spine in alignment, bend from your hips and reach towards the floor; aim to touch your toes or ankles
  • 5) Finger stretches: hold your hand out, use index and middle fingers to stretch between each finger; switch and repeat with other hand
  • 6) Seated neck stretch: clasp hands and interlock fingers, bring palms to back of head, keep spine tall and tuck chin into chest on the exhale, breathing deeply
  • 7) Wrist stretch: extend arm with palm facing up, use opposite hand to gently pull fingers toward you; then shake it out and switch arms
  • 8) Mountain pose: clasp hands and interlock fingers, extend arms forward and bring them above head with palms facing upwards, then drop your shoulders

Stretching at work will make you feel better right away and will also lead to long-term benefits and less stress. Try these out first and if you’d like some assistance or more stretches, Cleveland physical therapists in Shelby and Kings Mountain, NC can help. Call Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates at 704-471-0001 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Residents of Kings Mountain- physical therapists from Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates explain why you might not be getting enough sleep every night

Most people should be well aware by now that getting enough sleep on a regular basis is an extremely important part of maintaining good health. Getting at least seven (but preferably eight, or even nine) hours of sleep every night can lead to countless benefits, including stress relief, reduced risk of many chronic disorders, improved memory and cognitive function, and possibly even weight loss and a longer lifespan./

But somehow, despite the supporting body of evidence that continues to grow, many of us still aren’t getting enough nightly sleep. Statistics show that 35% of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep every night, while 63% say their sleep needs are not being met during the week. Why do so many people continue to have issues at bedtime?

There are a number of possible explanations that can help answer that question—including busy or fluctuating schedules, dietary habits, and insomnia—but in our technological age, one of the biggest culprits may actually be even simpler: light.

Research has shown that too much nighttime light exposure, especially from bright screens, suppresses the production of melatonin, the major hormone that controls sleep and wake cycles. A reduction in melatonin directly leads to sleeplessness, and not enough melatonin over time can impair immune system function and increase the risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

Short-wavelength, or blue light suppresses melatonin production the most, and it also happens to be the light typically emitted by devices like TVs, computers, tablets and cell phones. Normal levels of room lighting can also have similar effects, meaning a bright room with a bright screen is all around a bad combination when bedtime approaches.

The good news is making some basic modifications to your schedule can lead to some significant improvements in your sleeping habits. Residents of Kings Mountain- physical therapists from Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates recommends the following tips:

  • Reserve your final hour before bed as a relaxing time that’s free of too much stimulation, especially any bright screens, including cell phones
  • Make your bedroom a sanctuary and keep it cool, quiet and dark, and sleep on a mattress that’s not worn out and comfortable for you
  • Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time every night; on weekends, try to stick to this and only allow about a one-hour difference
  • Spend time outdoors every day if possible and exercise regularly
  • Avoid big meals a few hours before and alcohol right before bedtime
  • Try software like lux, which makes your computer look like the room you’re in at all times by changing its colors appropriately
  • Consider using a pair of amber-lensed goggles like Uvex once the sun goes down, which block blue light; it may be difficult to get over the concept of wearing goggles every night, but these have been proven to be effective

At Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates, with two locations in Shelby and Kings Mountain, NC, we encourage you to take these steps to improve your sleeping habits and overall health. For any aches or pains, call 704-471-0001 to schedule an appointment.

Physical therapists in Shelby from Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates break down the difference between using ice and heat for pain

Ice and heat have both been used as an easy home remedy to relieve pain for ages. Due to their availability and effectiveness for reducing mild to moderate pain in most cases, they are often recommended to patients with a variety of painful disorders. But sadly some patients aren’t exactly sure when to use ice and when to use heat, and as a result, confusion may get the best of them.

Patients commonly ask us whether it’s better to use ice (cryotherapy) or heat (thermotherapy) to help reduce their pain. To understand which option is best in each case, we first need to explain what actually happens to the body during an injury.

When an injury occurs—let’s use an ankle sprain for this example—the soft tissue in the ankle becomes damaged and tiny blood vessels (capillaries) are broken. This leads to blood leaking into nearby tissues, and the excess blood eventually causes the main signs of inflammation in the ankle: swelling, redness, heat, pain and tenderness. Pain can also persist after inflammation reduces and can occur from other causes as well, and each of these situations requires a different approach.

To help you determine whether to use ice or heat for your pain, physical therapists in Shelby have broken down the specifics of what you need to know about each one:

Ice: applying ice constricts (shrinks) blood vessels, which numbs pain, relieves inflammation and limits bruising

  • Ice should primarily be used for injuries or any other time there’s inflammation, as it will help to prevent further leakage of blood
  • This includes strains, sprains and any other injuries that are less than six weeks old (acute), as well as gout flare-ups
  • Best to use with the RICE protocol: Rest- minimize movement of the injured body part; Ice- apply ice for 15-20 minutes, 4-6 times a day for the first 48 hours; Compression- apply light pressure to the affected body part; Elevation- raise body part to reduce pressure from blood and tissue
  • Always cover the ice and use ice packs, frozen food or gel packs

Heat: increases blood flow, which relaxes tight muscles and relieves aching joints

  • Use heat for pain lasting longer than six weeks (chronic) or sore joints, including conditions like arthritis and back or neck pain
  • Do not use for acute injuries, which can make it worse, or if you have diabetes or peripheral vascular disease
  • Warm should be the goal of heat therapy, not hot; try using heating pads, heating wraps, steamed towels, warm baths and paraffin wax (use caution)
  • Apply for 15-20 min. (or longer if advised) 3x/day for suggested duration

Also keep in mind that headaches are one exception that both ice and heat can help treat in different ways. If you’re still not certain whether ice or heat is best for your pain, Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates, with two locations in Shelby and Kings Mountain, NC, is happy to help you out. Call us at 704-471-0001 for more information on ice and heat or to schedule an appointment.

Kings Mountain physical therapists explain the role of necessary pain in our treatment

The phrase “no pain, no gain” is often used to describe what’s necessary in order to achieve benefits from workouts. In some cases it’s also used when referring to physical therapy, which can wind up scaring patients and giving them the wrong impression before their first visit. At Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates, we’d like our patients to know that while there is some truth to that statement, it’s important to maintain an open dialogue about what you’re experiencing in order for us to make your treatment as comfortable as possible for you.

Pain is essentially an unpleasant sensory experience associated with either actual or potential damage to tissues. When pain occurs, it’s usually our body’s way of telling us something isn’t working right. In general, there’s a certain level of pain that’s acceptable and normal after exercising. In most cases this is delayed onset muscle pain, which is a dull ache of muscles following a strenuous workout that should subside within 3-5 days. This type of pain is no cause for alarm, while longer-lasting pain typically means something is wrong.

For extended pain or any serious injury, physical therapy is often sought out with the goal of improving strength and flexibility and reducing overall pain. While some pain be necessary during treatment, it’s important to keep in mind that this is entirely dependent on the type of injury, your level of pain and your pain threshold.

Patients with certain conditions like shoulder impingement syndrome (a group of painful shoulder problems) will receive treatment that’s pain-free, as additional pain can further injure shoulder tissues. For other conditions, though, like frozen shoulder (stiffness and pain in shoulder), treatment includes stretches and movements that can be painful but are necessary to regain range of motion.

Another example of potential pain is when physical therapy is given after surgery. Some patients will be able to go through their treatment without much pain, but others who wait too long or start getting stiff after surgery will have to push a little harder and endure a certain level of pain. Once again, this is completely essential in order to help these patients undo damages and restore their abilities.

What you should understand is physical therapy usually focuses on healing damaged tissues. Depending on the stage of recovery and state of the patient, pain may be involved, especially if tightened tissues are stretched or weak muscles strengthened. Your pain will be individual to you and will never be more than you can handle.

During your first visit, a physical therapist will evaluate you with tests that will be slightly painful to get an idea of the level of injury and what makes it better or worse. Throughout the entire treatment process, your physical therapist will also ask if your pain is sharp or throbbing, if it occurs at the end of a motion or if it continues on after the exercise. These are signs that something else may be wrong and that a change is needed. At every step of the way, our Shelby and Kings Mountain physical therapists will monitor your pain and make adjustments to the treatment program when they are required.

The concept of “no pain, no gain” in physical therapy carries some truth to it, but should be no reason to ever fear going to see a physical therapist, where the goal is to reduce pain, not create it. If you’re experiencing lasting pain of any sort, visit Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates at either of our two locations in Shelby and Kings Mountain, NC. Call 704-471-0001 to schedule an appointment.