Will physical therapy be everyday?

After the initial evaluation, a treatment plan is created to best fit a patient's range of motion and therapy needs.

Betty Long, RN, MHA
Nursing Specialist

Depends on where you're getting your therapy. First of all, in order to begin physical therapy, whether you are in-patient or out-patient, you first need to have an 'order' or a prescription for it from your physician or nurse practitioner. That order will typically say "3x day x 8 weeks" or something that mentions frequency and length of time.

Once PT has been ordered, you will have an initial evaluation by a physical therapist. The physical therapist will recommend a rehabilitation treatment plan to accomplish the goals identified by the physician and the evaluation (i.e. restore function.) It's likely that if you are an in-patient in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (aka 'rehab center), you'll be getting physical therapy every day. The amount of time may flex, but you'll probably be seeing someone from or going to the therapy department daily.

Outpatient physical therapy treatment plan will likely vary based on your condition and though I hate to admit it, your insurance coverage. With outpatient therapy, you will likely be given exercises you can do at home in between your clinic visits. It’s important to practice these exercises on your own. Many people start to feel better long before they complete the recommended treatment plan. Just like being prescribed antibiotics, it’s important to follow through on your appointments with your physical therapists.  

Brian Yee
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist

Depending on the condition you are being treated for should determine the frequency that you should go to Physical Therapy. Also depending on the state you reside in, the Physical Therapist may have 'direct access' or full autonomy to determine the frequency that you should come to treatment, while other states may require that your Physical Therapist coordinate with the patient's referring practioner on the treatment plan/frequency. Please check with your state Physical Therapy practice to find out more information.

Tamar Amitay
Physical Therapy Specialist
Physical therapy is a combination of the number of visits that your doctor will prescribe for you as well as the exercises that need to be performed to complement the gains made in physical therapy and to help progress one's gains made. Home exercise programs that are consistently followed by the patients result in success in reaching the goals initially agree upon between therapist and patient and help one reach those goals as quickly as possible. Usually there are between 3 to 8 exercises incorporating strengthening, flexibility, postural corrections, and improved quality of movement (motor control) performed and yes, these can be daily if applicable.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.