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How Long Will I Be In Physical Therapy?

Physical Therapy consisit of a treament and rehabilitation program that may take some time. Not surprisingly then, how long will physical therapy take is a common question asked by many patients. Although the question itself is a simple one, the answer is much more difficult. Remember, each and every person is different, and many factors may play into determining your overall prognosis and length of physical therapy. So how long does it take?

Unfortunately there is no correct answer to this question. Each person is different, and thus an individual’s rate of healing is also different.

It may take one person only three days to walk one hundred feet after knee surgery, however a patient who had surgery on the same day may need five days to reach the same distance. This is due to the variation in pain perception, motivation, and healing rate each of us has. Rather than setting a date to complete therapy by, set various goals that you would like to achieve during your rehabilitation program. Make this your focus, not time. Reward yourself for achieving these goals, regardless of the time taken to reach them. Your physical therapist can help you set these therapy goals and can help keep you on track.

A few tips on reducing the amount of time spent in Therapy


  • Although the physical therapist works with the patient during therapy sessions, it is important for the patient to take an active role in their therapy program. Daily participation in a home exercise program is a major factor in how quickly one recovers.


  • Continue to talk with your physical therapist about all of your rehab goals, and whether or not you’ve reached them. Your physical therapist can give you strategies to modify your activity and to get back to maximum mobility. You should be able to work independently to keep pushing towards optimal health and mobility.


  • Sometimes, unfortunately, physical therapy comes to an end because your insurance company will not continue paying for the skilled services of a physical therapist. When this happens, don’t let your insurance get in the way of your progess. Your physical therapist and the clinic you attend may be able to work with you to set up appropriate payment for continuance of your physical therapy services.


  • If you choose not to attend, work with your physical therapist to have an appropriate discharge plan so you can continue working on your rehab at home. Your physical therapist can help you transition to your normal home exercise program to prevent future problems with your condition.

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