Top 10 Physical Therapy Songs

Walk into any physical therapy clinic, and there will probably be music playing. It doesn't matter if it is jazz, classical, or rock-and-roll. The music helps to drown out the sounds of multiple people talking about carpal tunnel syndrome, functional mobility, or neck pain while in the rehab clinic.

So what songs are most popular in physical therapy clinics? Which songs seem to get a good laugh when they come on the radio in rehabilitation centers? Here is a list of the top ten.


"Hurts So Good" by John Cougar

African American man running on treadmill

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It doesn't matter if you know him as Johnny Cougar, John Cougar Mellencamp, or John Mellencamp; he still knows how to rock. And when his hit single "Hurts So Good" from the 1982 album American Fool comes on the radio in the physical therapy clinic, your physical therapist may chuckle. He or she may be working on your range of motion, and this stretching may hurt a bit. Remember, it is for your own good.


"Scar Tissue" by The Red Hot Chili Peppers

If you have had surgery prior to coming to physical therapy, then you and your physical therapist may be dealing with scar tissue. Scar tissue forms when the collagen that makes up your tendons, ligaments, skin, or muscles is injured.

Treatment for scar tissue in the body includes remodeling techniques like scar tissue massage and stretching exercises. Imagine if you are in the clinic and you hear "Scar Tissue" by the Chili Peppers while your physical therapist is massaging your scar tissue. Perfect!


"Rehab" by Amy Winehouse

In 2006, English star Amy Winehouse released her hit single "Rehab" with the signature line, "They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, 'No, no, no.'"

You may feel the same way if you are in the hospital and the acute care physical therapist recommends that you go to rehabilitation for a few weeks before going home. But just remember that your P.T. is only looking out for your safety and wants to help you maximize your functional mobility.


"Go Faster" by The Black Crowes

In a sports physical therapy clinic, you may see many patients working to improve strength and speed in order to safely return to athletics. "Go Faster" by the Black Crowes may be the song that is played while doing plyometric drills designed to help you run and jump faster.

The song's signature line? "Can you make this thing go faster?"


"Walk This Way" by Aerosmith

If you have suffered a lower extremity fracture or have had a total knee or hip replacement, then you understand how important it is to learn how to walk again. Your physical therapist can help you with gait training, and he or she can teach you the proper way to walk. The song "Walk This Way" may echo what your physical therapist is telling you in the clinic.


"Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" by Boy George and Culture Club

Imagine you have a frozen shoulder and you are going to physical therapy for aggressive range of motion to your shoulder. You may want to ask your physical therapist, "Do you really want to hurt me?" Your physical therapist does not want to hurt you, but you certainly may experience some discomfort while he or she is stretching your shoulder.


"Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M.

When "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M. comes on in the clinic, patients usually share a laugh. Many people go to physical therapy because of painful conditions, and you may feel that everyone in the clinic is hurting. Don't worry, your physical therapist is trained to help you decrease your pain and restore your normal mobility and function quickly and safely.


"King of Pain" by the Police

If you are in the physical therapy clinic and hear Sting of the Police singing, "I'll always be King of Pain," you may share a little chuckle with your physical therapist. Your physical therapist may sometimes feel like the king of pain, but he or she is most likely trying to take your pain away, although sometimes it may feel like causing pain is the main goal.


"Haven't Got Time for the Pain" by Carly Simon

It can be tough having to go to the physical therapy clinic after injury. It may disrupt your normal workday routine, or it may prevent you from enjoying some quiet time with your family.

The 1974 song "Haven't Got Time for the Pain" seems to echo this point. You may be hurting, and you probably just want to get back to normal again.

Don't worry. Your physical therapist understands that attending physical therapy can sometimes be burdensome. So does Carly Simon.

And finally, the most popular physical therapy song:


"Physical" by Olivia Newton John

It may be totally obvious, but "Physical" is the most popular physical therapy song. Who can forget the video of Olivia Newton-John jumping around in her spandex and leg warmers singing, "Let's get physical?" Physical therapy often involves exercise to help you improve your mobility and strength, and this song can really get you moving.

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