Most patients who underwent physical therapy have this question in mind- How long should I continue physical therapy? It is not possible to give a general answer to this question. Every individual is unique. Several factors play an important part in determining the duration of physical therapy and your overall prognosis.
The duration to attend physical therapy depends on:
As each individual has a different healing rate, it can be decided according to their recovery. One person may walk within three days after the knee surgery whereas another patient takes some time to reach a particular distance. It is because of variation in motivation, perception, healing rate and pain of each individual.
It is recommended to set different goals to accomplish during the rehabilitation program instead of setting a date to end physical therapy. Focus on your program and do not worry about time.
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When you should stop physical therapy?
When you are regularly following physical therapy programs, you would have set certain goals to work on. Are you wondering when to stop physical therapy? Certain things that indicate you need to pause physical therapy are as follows:
- Your pain has vanished
- You have accomplished all your goals
- Your condition is not improving or worsening
- There is no progress
- You have started to do previous functional mobility and previous types of activities
When these things happen, you can discuss it with your therapist and discontinue the physical therapy program. The physical therapy will assist you in changing from your regular exercise program to avoid future issues with your condition. There is no need to worry if you are not able to accomplish all your rehab goals. You can work independently and keep pushing yourself towards optimal mobility and health. In some cases, your situation would be worse where you would never get back to an early level of activity. If this situation happens, the physical therapist would suggest strategies to change your activity and assist you to get maximum mobility.
Rough physical therapy plan for different kinds of injuries and conditions
Minor injuries: Approximately two to three sessions. It will be followed by a home exercise program.
Soft tissue injuries: Approximately six to eight weeks. It mostly depends upon the healing of soft tissue.
Serious or chronic conditions: You may have to continue two months or more. It depends upon your progress level and how you accomplish your wellness and health goals.