5 Rehab Ready Indicators

1. Is it reproducible?

Can you provoke your pain consistently with one or two specific movements?

   For example:

      – Bending forward or sideways

      – Getting up from a chair

      – Reaching for a dish on a top shelf

      – Walking down a hill or stairs

      – Or throwing a ball.

OR is there a certain activity that you are hesitant to do because you know it will “get” you?

   For example:

      – Driving more than 10 minutes

      – sitting at your work-station

      – Vacuuming

      – Washing the dishes in the sink

      – Cooking

If it’s reproducible then it’s reducible. Movements or specific activities that consistently reproduce your pain often indicate a mechanical problem. Physical Therapists are the mechanics for the body! We can trace the source of your pain by watching you move like a mechanic might diagnose a car by the sound it is making.

2- Does your pain wake you up at night?

Pain that gets into your dreams and eventually wakes you up often indicates that inflammation has had a chance to build up while you are lying still.  The things that aggravated your issue during the day have caught up to you. Physical Therapists are experts at finding the source of the inflammation AND calming it down.

3- Do you sleep fine BUT have pain or stiffness in the morning?

This also indicates a buildup of inflammation over night while you were mostly still. (Movement and blood flow help keep inflammation related stiffness at bay.) This means it may be time to change your sleeping position or perhaps even change your mattress. Physical Therapists can help you find the best sleeping position for you and help you decide if a new mattress will help dramatically change the start of your day.

4- Did you have a negative X-ray or negative MRI but still have pain?

It may be frustrating to think that the imaging did not provide the full answer to your issue or the source of your pain but the fact that here is no BIG injury is probably good news! Our Physical Therapists are trained to trace and isolate the source based on examination and movement patterns. If an MRI or X-ray says nothing is “broken” then there is likely underlying compensations and patterns that a good PT can sniff out.

5- Do you have pain when you first start walking, running, or moving in any way but then it goes away after you’ve “warmed up”?

Maybe you forget about the pain until you start your run or activity again, but it starts to take longer to go away or you feel pain again after the activity. This is an indicator of tendonitis or tendinosis. Physical Therapists are experts at soft tissue (tendon, muscles, and fascia) injuries. We can help you modify your activity while allowing the tissues to fully heal.


“PT Pro has been assisting me on shoulder rehab for the past several months. I am 15 weeks post op for rotator cuff and bicep reattachment after a slip from the fire engine. They have been extremely helpful in getting me to the positive place I am now. Not quite ready for back to work but working light duty with the realistic timeline and optimism for full recovery. I have recommended them to several other FFs and friends. They have set the PT bar for me.”

-John S, Seattle, WA

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