How Long Will You Need to See a Physical Therapist?
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How Long Will You Need to See a Physical Therapist?

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Have you recently been involved in an accident, or suffered an injury, for which your primary physician has recommended physical therapy? Maybe you have re-occurring pain or symptoms which have gotten progressively worse? Whatever the reason may be, physical therapy can be an excellent method to help the body regain its strength and natural function.

If this is your first time in physical therapy, one of the first questions you are most likely wondering is the length of time you should expect to attend treatment. While there is no simple method to work out exactly how long this will take, we have compiled some information to help you better understand the expectations.

Is It Time for Physical Therapy?

If you stretch and exercise every day, and yet you're still experiencing pain or stiffness that doesn’t seem to go away, it may be time to see a physical therapist.

Physical therapists go through extensive education and training in order to properly resolve muscle and joint issues, back pain, and any other ailments or conditions which decreases mobility. They are also experienced in building and guiding patients through exercise programs during rehabilitation.

Who Receives Physical Therapy?

It's important to remember that physical therapy is not solely for those who have suffered a serious injury. Many PT’s note that a large part of their clientele includes baby boomers and others who simply do not feel like they move or exercise the way they once did.

Athletes also frequently turn to physical therapy. This is normally either due to a sports-related injury, or to back or neck pain as a result of the movements they practice in their sport.

Whatever the reason, if you feel that you're not physically as mobile as you once were, there is no harm in booking an initial examination with your physical therapist.

Initial Appointment

During your initial visit with your physical therapist, expect to undergo a complete physical assessment. This most often includes a strength test to evaluate whether or not certain muscles are working properly. A test to determine your range of motion and balance will also be administered.

After the test results have been established, you and your physical therapist will develop a plan based on your individual needs.

How Long Will I Need to See a Physical Therapist?

It's difficult to determine how long you will need to attend physical therapy sessions, since every patient’s condition and needs differ. Normally, sessions will continue until you and your physical therapist have reached the desired result that you determined during your initial appointment.

Factors that normally affect the amount of physical therapy needed include:

  • Physical activity level
  • Posture
  • Age
  • Diet
  • Medications
  • Smoking
  • Severity of injury

Results vary for each individual based on these factors and more, so it's impossible to guarantee that physical therapy will result in improved motion. However, physical therapy has been proven to increase mobility in patients who work with their physical therapist and follow the plan developed together.

If you have recently suffered an injury, or experienced pain or stiffness, which has decreased mobility, physical therapy could be a great option for you. Not only can it improve physical movement, but can help to reduce pain and promote overall health and fitness. Speak to your primary physician to determine if physical therapy is the right option for you.

Make an appointment for physical therapy treatment with Dr. Hamm in our Weston office, or visit one of our other convenient locations. Book Now

About the Author:
Dr. Darran Hamm
Dr. Darran J. Hamm is a board-certified Chiropractic Physician specializing in non-invasive, non-surgical and drugless pain treatment. Dr. Hamm has been helping those suffering from chronic pain to find relief for over 10 years. Beginning his practice in Alameda, CA, Dr. Hamm now practices in South Florida, where he lives with his wife and two beautiful daughters.
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