How Do You Decide When to Stop?
Treating chronic pain or other conditions with physical therapy is fundamentally different from using pharmaceutical products or performing surgery. Unlike medication, physical therapy seeks to identify and remedy the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Unlike surgery, physical therapy doesn’t involve invasive techniques with the potential for restrictive side-effects. But those approaches do offer something that physical therapy doesn’t—a more immediate determination of their effectiveness. Physical therapy, on the other hand, is a strategy that may not produce identifiable results in the short-term, but instead might take time to fully correct the problem. Sometimes, physical therapy is not the answer.
So when do you know that you’ve had enough physical therapy, that it’s done all it’s going to do for you? Unfortunately, for many people, that question often is answered by a health insurance provider.
The Best Approach for Your Long-term Health
If you have been referred to a physical therapist, you should sit down with the therapist before starting any program and identify your goals. Ideally, the therapist will tell you how realistic your goals are and how long it should take to reach those goals. It’s also a good idea to agree up front that you’ll perform a progress assessment after a specific period of time to help determine whether to adjust your goals. To the extent possible, the frequency and duration of your physical therapy appointments should be based on the opinion and recommendations of your physical therapist, not your insurance company.
As a rule of thumb, if your injury is primarily to soft tissue, you can expect a 6-to-8-week period of physical therapy. For more serious injury, it’s common for therapy to last months. Of course, if you attend a few sessions and notice immediate improvement, you may be able to do all or most of your exercises at home.
Make an Appointment Today
At Advantage Healthcare Systems, we have extensive experience determining impairment ratings for people who are hurt at work. Call today at 1-877-487-8289 or complete the form below to set up your first assessment. We have offices conveniently located in Dallas, Fort Worth and San Antonio.