Many Factors Are Involved In Overall Length Of Physical Therapy
You’ve been injured. It happens to everyone, no matter the age range. Kids. Young people. Old people. Yes, even middle-aged people. Now your doctor has told you that you need physical therapy. This is something new for you – it’s the first time that you’ve needed to do that. Sure, you’ve worked out at the gym with a trainer. This is going to be different. But you’re baffled by what’s going to be coming next.
Unfortunately, sometimes the length of the physical therapy can be dictated by how much the insurance company pays. In a perfect world, that wouldn’t be the case and each patient would be able to rehab for as long as needed. It’s an imperfect world, though, and we need to work within the confines of the system. That said, here’s some basic guidelines. Now… on to figuring out how long you’ll need to see a physical therapist. Each session is typically 60 minutes. There are several factors involved.
Extent of the Injury
Of course, this is the main thing. If it’s a really major injury, the rehabilitation is going to take longer than a relatively minor one. A tear of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament will require many more visits to a physical therapist over something like a sprained ankle. Your fitness level also counts. A professional athlete will likely heal faster than a weekend warrior type. Everyone recovers at a different pace, so while there are ballpark figures, it’s actually irresponsible to try to put a timetable for every single person, since trying to rush through the physical therapy can possibly lead to more injury.
You’re not going to be recovering quickly if you only see your physical therapist one time a week or even less than that. It’s about repetitive exercises that will build up the area around your injury and also strengthen that area too. Figure on seeing your physical therapist at least two to three times a week, and possibly more than that. You may also get some exercises to do at home which require little to no equipment that will also aid in your rehabilitation. It may turn out that you just wind up doing home exercises if you are doing really well with your recovery process.
When you meet with your physical therapist, the two of you will outline the goals that you want to achieve by certain time frames during your sessions. Your physical therapist will want you to be doing specific things… like walking by the second week, for example. You may find yourself ahead of schedule or you may fall behind. It’s all about your health and the work that you’re putting into it… without overtaxing yourself. Sometimes it may feel like you’re dancing close to the line, but your physical therapist should know how far to push you and be able to accurately gauge what exercises are or are not working. So generally speaking, you’re probably looking at doing this within 6-8 weeks, but it may be longer or shorter depending on your injury, insurance and other factors, but that seems like a normal time frame.
Come and talk to Dr. Steven Moalemi at Empire Physical Medicine & Pain Management about your situation. Both he and his staff will give you the most complete physical therapy experience possible. When you’re finished, you’ll be in much better condition, happier and pain-free.