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Last week Dr. Shania Grove hosted a webinar entitled "Gains Beyond Treatment". We understand the transition from ending therapy to next steps is different for each patient and complicated to say the least. So today we explore how long treatment lasts as well as signs of when it's time to move forward.

Do You Have to Do Physical Therapy Forever?

Physical therapy is an important part of the healing process for many people. It can help you recover from an injury or illness, improve your mobility, and reduce pain. But with all the time and effort that goes into physical therapy, it can be hard to know if you have to do it forever. The answer depends on your individual situation, but there are some general guidelines that can help you understand when it’s time to stop physical therapy.

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is a type of rehabilitation that uses exercise and other treatments to improve movement, strength, and function. It is often used to treat injuries or illnesses that affect the musculoskeletal system, such as sprains and strains, arthritis, back pain, and sports injuries. Physical therapists use a variety of techniques to help patients restore their mobility and reduce pain. These techniques may include stretching exercises, massage therapy, ultrasound therapy, electrical stimulation, heat or cold treatments, and more.

How Long Does Physical Therapy Last?

The length of physical therapy depends on a variety of factors including the severity of the injury or illness being treated and how quickly the patient responds to treatment. Generally speaking, most people will need at least four weeks of physical therapy in order to see significant improvement in their condition. However, some people may need longer periods of treatment depending on their individual needs.

When Should You Stop Physical Therapy?

When it comes time to decide whether or not you should continue with physical therapy there are a few things you should consider:

- Are you seeing improvement in your condition? If so then it may be time to stop physical therapy as long as your doctor agrees that you have made enough progress.

- Are you still experiencing pain or discomfort? If so then it may be beneficial for you to continue with physical therapy until these symptoms are reduced or eliminated completely.

- Are there any activities that are still difficult for you due to your injury or illness? If so then continuing with physical therapy may be necessary in order for you to regain full mobility and function in these areas.

- Do you feel like your progress has plateaued? If so then it may be beneficial for you to take a break from physical therapy in order for your body to rest and heal before returning for more treatment sessions.

- Are there any other treatments available that could help improve your condition further? If so then discussing these options with your doctor may be beneficial before deciding whether or not it’s time to stop physical therapy altogether.

Ultimately the decision about when it’s time to stop physical therapy should be made between yourself and your doctor based on your individual needs and goals. In most cases though physical therapy does not need to be done forever; rather it is usually just used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan until the desired results are achieved.


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