Physical Therapy FAQ’s
How many weeks will physical therapy last?
The duration of physical therapy will depend on your diagnosis, the severity of your symptoms, and your past medical history. After your initial evaluation, your physical therapist will speak with you to go over approximately how long physical therapy will last. Typically, patients are seen two times per week. Simple conditions may be treated as quickly as two weeks, whereas, complex cases or post-surgical patients may need physical therapy for a few months.
How long will my appointment last?
Your initial visit will typically last 60 minutes so that your physical therapist can perform a thorough evaluation. All other visits will typically last 45 minutes but this may vary slightly depending on your injury.
How should I dress?
We recommend wearing clothing that allows easy access to the injured area. For example, for a knee injury we recommend wearing shorts or baggy pants that can easily be rolled up past the knee. For shoulder injuries we recommend wearing tank tops or baggy t-shirts. For back injuries we recommend wearing loose fitting shirts and comfortable pants or shorts that allow for easy movement of your legs.
Will physical therapy hurt?
Your physical therapist will regularly ask for your feedback during treatment sessions in order to ensure they are not being too aggressive with stretching or strengthening exercises. It is important that you give honest feedback to your physical therapist so that your treatment sessions remain pain free. Your physical therapist will help describe the differences between pain caused by injury and pain caused by muscle fatigue. Your physical therapist’s primary goal is to reduce your pain and restore your function. Oftentimes patients will report “sore muscles” for 24-48 hours after a physical therapy session which is an unfortunate, but necessary, side effect of muscle strengthening.
Won’t my injury get better if I just rest?
Often times people will avoid physical therapy in hopes that their pain will just go away. What may end up happening is that the injured area continues to get worse and worse, or you will begin to compensate by moving your joints in abnormal ways which ends up causing aches and pains in other body parts. The sooner you see your physical therapist, the quicker your injury will be resolved and the less risk you’ll have of damaging other body parts.
Won’t I need surgery anyways?
Your physical therapist’s goal will be to reduce your pain and improve your function so that surgery isn’t necessary. More and more studies are showing how physical therapy can help patients avoid surgery. For example, a recent study from the New England Journal of Medicine found that physical therapy was just as effective as surgery in patients with a torn meniscus and arthritis of the knee.