I am so happy you are taking steps to improve your situation.
I am here for you 100% and want you to feel comfortable asking questions. Your questions and comments help me serve you better! I want to give you heads up on a few questions or concerns expressed I typically get after the first visit.
You should expect some soreness after treatment. My typical response is, "What does it feel like, a bruise, a sore muscle, or is it sharp and shooting?" Soreness after doing something new is normal, and when you come for therapy, it is our goal to get you to move in new and different ways. As long as your symptoms were not made worse, soreness is okay. If your symptoms got worse and stayed worse, then I would ask, "Did any of the exercises or manual treatment feel like they made it worse?" If they did, either stop the provocative exercise, or we will adjust treatment next visit to make sure your symptoms do not get worse. Gentle stretching, going for a walk, or light use of the sore muscles can sometimes ease the soreness. Movement is your friend!
This is common. I would first recommend you be mindful of when the pain came back or how long did you feel good. Next, what you were doing when you started feeling it or just before you started feeling it. The return of discomfort could also be an endurance issue leading you to go back into protection mode. If the muscles are generally not active, they will fatigue quickly. I would recommend if you have time, to go for a brief comfortable walk to use the muscles that were just worked on or activated while it is all fresh. I also recommend an increased frequency of home exercises on the day of a visit. The more feedback your body gets, the better it learns to improve and solidifies what was worked.
I understand and have been there. The exercises I give and the recommended reps/sets and times a day are OPTIMAL. Optimal does not fit into every schedule. Referring back to the previous answer, moving often and giving yourself as much mindful motion and repetitions will increase how your body moves and responds to movement. Try your best to fit the exercises in even if it's not the recommended reps or sets. Some examples are, do a standing exercise while brushing your teeth, focus on body posture and hip motions every time you bend over, or ad 10 reps of an exercise after every time you do something on a regular basis. The more you can integrate the motion into your daily life, the more it becomes a habit, and the less you have to worry about setting aside time to do them all.
Feeling better is great! You have more energy, can do the things you love doing without worry, and you are more positive. That is awesome, and I am so happy you are there. The issue is that your pain if not from a specific injury, is typically a result of misuse of your body. Your body protects motions by compensating, which over time can lead to pain somewhere else. If you don't correct the protection patterns and improve the underlying problem, there is a strong chance your symptoms come back. I have seen many people stop after feeling good only to be calling again within a year because they are experiencing the same or similar symptoms. It is also essential to strengthen the body, which will provide you long term relief, confidence, and the best your body has felt in years!
First, I am happy you have relief from the original issue. Second, compensations and protection patterns are like the layers of an onion, and sometimes when we address one layer, it shows the weakness somewhere else. For example, if you have hip tightness/pain because your core is not stable, and you get the hips loosened up, it could cause back pain. Now the stress is on your back, which is still weak. Each time you correct an issue, it puts stress somewhere else. The weakest link can break unless you address the body as a whole and get it to accept a "load" or "resistance" using the whole body as one unit.
If we did not discuss treatment progression at our first visit, I am sorry. How visits should progress is by improving motion in areas that are restricted mechanically or by restrictions in your tissue. Once, mechanical limitations improve, you have to perform exercises to reinforce and keep control of that motion so that it does not become tense from poor control in that area. Some tensions in your body are from overcompensation at a given area due to weakness there or somewhere else. You may have a perceived tension that is actually due to weakness, and your body is just protecting itself. As you perform the exercises to gain motion control, it is then time to strengthen them! That said, not every visit will be manual hands-on tissue work. However, you will experience a lot of hands-on work, making sure the right muscles are firing so that you can move well and strengthen the correct muscles!