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First Time Going to a Chiropractor? FAQs to Ask


Why Chiropractors Care About What You Eat

May. 15 2019 Published by: Dr. Craig Singer

How Long Will I Be in Physical Therapy?

Category: Physical Therapy

How Long Will I Be in Physical Therapy?

So, you’ve sustained an injury, and your doctor or other provider has recommended physical therapy as a component of your rehabilitation.

How long will you need to be in physical therapy?

Unfortunately, there’s no precise answer to this question. Everyone is different, and your rate of progress and expected time in physical therapy will depend on a number of factors.

However, there are a few rules of thumb for determining how long physical therapy might last. It’s also important to know when you should finish up with physical therapy.

Therefore, we’ve provided a guide with general guidelines for how long physical therapy can and should last, how you’ll know when it’s time to discontinue physical therapy, and a few other tips to keep in mind as you progress through your recovery.

How Long Should Physical Therapy Last?

The length of time you’ll be in physical therapy depends on a number of factors, including but not limited to:

  • The extent of your injury or injuries
  • How quickly your condition improves during the course of physical therapy
  • Your progress with pain relief
  • Whether you will continue after the injury has recovered in order to rebuild strength in the injured area
  • Whether your goals are being met through physical therapy

Generally, physical therapy consists of 1-2 sessions each week lasting 30-60 minutes, in addition to at-home exercises your physical therapist will likely recommend both while you’re in physical therapy and after you have stopped going.

Although there’s no way to predict exactly how many weeks you’ll be in physical therapy, the following guidelines can be considered a general rule of thumb:

  • Minor injuries: 2-3 weeks followed by at-home exercises and possible later as-needed check-ins with your physical therapist.
  • Soft tissue injuries: 6-8 weeks, which is how long soft tissue takes to heal in most injuries. Your physical therapist will work with you to speed healing, and to make sure that your injury is healing properly.
  • Chronic or serious conditions: 2-3 months or more, depending on how quickly you are making progress.

How to Know When Physical Therapy Should Stop

Knowing when physical therapy should stop is actually the most important determinant of how long you’ll be in physical therapy.

When you start a physical therapy program, you should work with your physical therapist to set specific goals, and continue therapy until these goals have been met. Some signs that it might be time to stop physical therapy include:

  • You’ve plateaued in your progress
  • Your condition or injury is worsening
  • You have achieved all of your goals for mobility and pain relief
  • You are no longer experiencing pain
  • You have returned to your pre-injury level of activity and mobility

Fort Lauderdale Physical Therapist

You are the best person to evaluate your progress, as only you know how you’re experiencing pain, and what level of functioning you possess in everyday life. When you notice one or more of the above, talk to your physical therapist to discuss whether you should discontinue your program. Your physical therapist will help you develop a plan to transition to a home exercise program, and set guidelines for when a check-in appointment might be necessary.

If you haven’t met all of your goals for rehab, this is okay. You’ll be able to continue working independently towards your goals with your at-home exercise program.

Sometimes physical therapy must come to an end because your insurance company will only pay for a certain number of sessions. In this situation, your physical therapist may be able to work with you to set up a payment plan for continuation of a physical therapy program. If you aren’t able to do this, it will be important to make a good discharge plan to continue working on your rehabilitation at home.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

To make sure that you get the most out of your physical therapy rehab program, there are some other important things to keep in mind:

  • Home exercises: To minimize the time you’re in physical therapy, it will be very important to do your home exercises as recommended. At every appointment, ask your physical therapist which exercises you should do in the days before your next session.


  • Stick to the plan: It’s also important to do your home exercises exactly as recommended by your physical therapist. In many cases, doing extra exercises can actually be counterproductive. However, if a specific exercise is making things worse, pause this exercise until your next session, and ask your physical therapist about it.


  • Know your body: It’s helpful to know what’s going on with your body. Always be sure to ask questions regarding the nature of your injury, and how specific exercises will contribute to healing.


  • Talk to your physical therapist if you have problems: If anything hurts, or if you’re not making progress as you thought you would, talk to your physical therapist about it. You should feel fully informed and comfortable.

Physical Therapy Center Oakland Park

Physical therapy is an important means of recovering from many different injuries. You can make the most out of your physical therapy by making sure that you understand what’s going on, sticking to the program developed by your physical therapist, and talking to your physical therapist if problems come up.


About the Author:

Dr. Singer has been a practicing chiropractor for more than 20 years, and USA Health & Therapy has been around since 2004. Over the course of his career, Singer has helped tens of thousands of people with all kinds of issues by using a wide variety of treatment strategies. He has extensive knowledge of chiropractic modalities, including Gonstead, Diversified, Thompson Drop Table, and Activator, and in 1997 he earned a special adjunctive Chiropractic Certification in Spinal Trauma (CCST) to better provide care for car crash victims. Dr. Singer is licensed to practice chiropractic medicine in both Florida and New York.



First Time Going to a Chiropractor? FAQs to Ask


Why Chiropractors Care About What You Eat

USA Health & Therapy

3434 Northeast 12th Avenue
Oakland Park, FL 33334-4523
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