Physical therapy, also known as physiotherapy, is a branch of rehabilitative health that uses different techniques to help decrease pain and stiffness. The treatment also helps improve strength, motion, and enhance mobility. The treatment method helps people of all ages who have injuries, illnesses, and medical conditions that affect their normal movement and function. Some common signs that you need to visit a physiotherapist include loss of balance, pain when sitting at the desk all day, and chronic pain. Other signs to watch out for include, uncoordinated movement, and urinary incontinence. Before undergoing physiotherapy, patients need to know how long the treatment plan is likely to take. Also, they should know the steps to take to ensure they benefit from the physiatrics sessions.
How Long Does Physical Therapy Typically Last?
One of the common questions among patients is how long the physical therapy will last. While this may appear to be a simple question, there is no clear answer to how long a physical therapy program will last. The duration of the program will depend on an individual’s healing rate as well as the condition being treated. In essence, every condition is different, and everyone heals at different rates. A good physical therapist will track progress and check whether you are making gains in range of motion, function, and strength.
Generally, soft tissues will take between six and eight weeks to heal, meaning that a typical physiotherapy program will last about that long. However, since physical therapy is designed to help you make a full recovery and resume normal activities, you should consider setting goals that you would like to achieve rather than setting a date by which to complete the treatment. With the help of your physical therapist, you will stay focused regardless of the time it takes to achieve your goals.
Even as you attend therapy, you need to know when the program should stop. In case you notice that your progress has plateaued, your condition is worsening, you have achieved all your goals, the pain is gone, or you have returned to your previous level of activity and functional mobility, it may be time to discontinue the rehab program. You should talk to your therapist so that they help you to transition to a home exercise program that will help you achieve full recovery. There are times when you will have to end your physiatrics program if your insurance company stops paying for the skilled services of an expert physiotherapist. However, there is always room to work on an alternative payment plan or negotiate with your insurance company.
How Frequently Will I Need to Attend?
The frequency of your physiotherapy attendance will depend on the diagnosis as well as the extent of injury or disorder. Your first consultation with your physiotherapist will feature a discussion of your case, with the professional explaining the options available to you. They will then determine a frequency that is in line with your physician’s prescription. Taking into account the level of impairment, attending physiotherapy at that consistency will help you make the quickest recovery possible.
In the beginning, you may be required to attend physiotherapy at least two to three times a week. Apart from the frequency, each session may last between 30 and 60 minutes in length. While two to three visits in a week may appear to be too much, especially if you have just sustained an injury or undergone surgery, it is important to understand why regular visits are necessary. The regular movement associated with physiatrics sessions encourages blood circulation, which promotes speedy recovery. It also helps to make joints suppler and conditions muscles faster. Over time, as your body heals and the physiotherapist looks at how your body responds, they will shift your program accordingly. While the visits will span out and reduce, the whole journey may take several months.
There are a number of steps you can take to help reduce the frequency of heading out to the clinic. You will need to keep up with all the exercises and programs that the therapist assigns you. These programs may involve doing the prescribed at-home treatment methods such as stretching, ice therapy, and other specific movements. You may also be advised to change certain habits and set yourself up differently at work. Compliance with regular treatment attendance and following your therapist’s advice will ensure quick rehabilitation, allowing you to return to activity sooner.
What Should I do After a Session?
As much as you may attend treatment, it will take time to manage the pain and get you back to your previous state. The process is also associated with some soreness after physiotherapy sessions. Here are a few steps you can take to alleviate your discomfort.
Ice the Area
Soreness is usually an inflamed tissue of that part of the body experiencing discomfort. Since inflammation is a normal part of the healing process, you should simply ice the area in order to cool and soothe it. Apply ice for about 20 minutes at a time, repeating the process as many times as you see fit.
Local inflammation that causes soreness could be as a result of waste products that need to be eliminated. Drinking water after physiotherapy sessions will make it easy for the body to process the toxins in your bloodstream.
Do Your Exercises
Further exercises after your physiatrics appointments will help to provide pain relief between treatments and reduce the need for ongoing treatment. Discuss your home program with your physiotherapist to ensure the activities will be of benefit to you.
Follow the Expert’s Advice
As your physiotherapist tracks progress and monitors the gains you make, they will offer advice on what to do after the sessions. It is important to follow the expert advice from your physiotherapist. The professional may recommend ergonomic chairs, lumbar support, and rest whenever necessary to help you recover quickly.
Make sure you pay attention to any unusual pain in your body. While it is normal to experience pain after the treatment, the pain should subside after 24 to 48 hours. Write down how you feel after the physical therapy session, clearly describing the discomfort, soreness, or pain.
Begin Your Journey Back Today
There is no doubt that physical therapy has numerous benefits. If you find yourself in a situation where you need physiotherapy treatment, you should work with a reputable medical facility and expert. North Texas Medical Center has qualified and experienced physiotherapists who will work with you throughout your journey to regaining your strength, function, movement, and overall well-being. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.