Physiotherapy is a branch of rehabilitative health that focuses on the musculoskeletal system to fix movement problems. These trained professionals can evaluate and treat abnormal function, whether from injury, disability, disease, or other conditions. Take a look at all the factors you need to consider and decide if physiotherapy will help you feel and function better.
How long does physiotherapy take to work?
As physiotherapy can be used for various ailments, there is no one answer as to how long physiotherapy will take. Furthermore, as everyone recovers differently, each individual will heal at a different rate. The extent of the injury can further complicate recovery time. Your physiotherapist will track your progress and determine when you are fully recovered.
However, soft tissue injuries usually take between six to eight weeks to heal, which means physiotherapy will last at least that long and sometimes a couple of weeks longer for targeted problems. Muscles will take about two to four weeks, while tendons can take four to six weeks to heal. Bones take about six to eight weeks to heal. Both ligaments and cartilage take the longest to heal at around ten to twelve weeks.
Again, all of these are estimates as recovery depends on the extent of the injury, the part affected, level of patient effort, and patient recovery rate. In addition, physiotherapy may start at different stages of injury for different patients as well. For example, patients cannot start physiotherapy for a broken bone until their cast is removed.
Blood flow is the key to healing, and muscles tend to heal faster with a rich blood supply. Tendons, ligaments, and cartilage have less blood supplied or fluid for lubrication, making these injuries take longer to heal. Physiotherapy can accelerate healing as the practice promotes movement by lubricating joints. Once therapy starts, it will take between one to six months for full recovery, depending on the necessary factors.
When should I start seeing results from physiotherapy?
While you may hope to see results from physiotherapy right away, you may need a few weeks to see or feel the difference. At first, you will only see small improvements, such as being able to make a fist with a broken wrist or flex a sprained ankle. The small changes will differ for each type of injury, but you should celebrate even small improvements as they lead to larger improvements.
Remember, you will still feel pain while going through physiotherapy, but you should see a minor improvement after the first week or two to three sessions. If you want to know if you are experiencing results, set small goals for yourself or work with your therapist to set small goals to reach each week, such as making a fist or other small goals that lead up to a full recovery.
The best physiotherapists can help you see almost immediate results, but this depends on the type and extent of the injury. Do not rush your therapy, as each step is necessary to help you reach the end goal. However, if you do not see results after two weeks, it may be time to reassess your therapy.
If you do not see results, then you may need to reassess your current physiotherapist. The first sign you may need to change therapists is if you do not see results or if your treatment plan remains the same and does not evolve. Second, if you are not comfortable with your therapist, it’s time to find a new therapist. Third, if your physiotherapist does not listen to you or set goals and help you achieve those goals, then it may be time for a change.
Another common problem is getting appointments. If you cannot get an appointment with your therapist, then they cannot help you. You need personal attention and care beyond passive treatments like traction, massage, and ultrasounds to regain movement of your injuries.
How long does physiotherapy take after an injury?
Physiotherapy after an injury will take the same amount of time as mentioned above. But, again, therapy will depend on the type and location of injury as well as the patient’s rate of healing and the amount of work they put into therapy. Remember, with an injury, you may need to deal with rehabilitation before you can start recovery.
Rehabilitation can include assistive devices such as tools or equipment to cope with the temporary disability. Once you graduate from rehabilitation, you can then begin physiotherapy to get your healing parts moving at the right pace for a full recovery again. However, do not start physiotherapy until your doctor signs off on the recovery of your injury, as this can further the injury instead of helping you recover.
How long does physiotherapy take after surgery?
Physiotherapy after surgery needs to wait for rehabilitation before you can start physiotherapy. Your doctor will tell you when you can start physiotherapy. Some people start physiotherapy within days of having surgery. As you do not need to wait as long as you would with an injury, you can start the recovery process sooner and see results and recovery sooner too.
Depending on your health coverage and doctor’s orders, you may see a physiotherapist every day for several weeks or less frequently. Recovery and therapy will still take a month to two months, depending on the type of injury. Keep doing your exercises even after physiotherapy if you feel they help you with your recovery and continue using the joint and increase lubrication.
How long does it take for physiotherapy to have long-term results?
Physiotherapy for long-term results should focus more on the type of therapy instead of the length of therapy. If your physiotherapy does not use a hands-on approach, then it may not be effective in the long run. Passive treatments are done to patients, while active treatments require work on the patient’s part. Passive treatment may help with acute pain but not help you to gain movement. This means you must do the work to start seeing long-term results.
Follow your therapist’s guidelines for stretching and exercises to see the most long-term results. The more you practice, the better chance of long-term results in a shorter amount of time. However, if your therapy does not require you to start using the injured part in some form, you will not see long-term results.
How long does your first physiotherapy session last?
The first therapy appointment may take longer than the other sessions as it’s an orientation and assessment appointment. Expect to spend between an hour to two hours at the appointment. The therapist will want to go over your medical and surgical history along with current medications. You may need to arrive ten to fifteen minutes early to fill out paperwork.
Each physiotherapy session will take between thirty minutes to an hour. Your therapist may expect you to come in every day, multiple times a week or less. As you gain mobility, the appointments will taper off until the end completely. Make sure to follow your therapy plan for the best chance of a full recovery.
How long should you take physiotherapy?
You should take physiotherapy until you are happy with the results and your physiotherapist feels you are completely healed. Most physiotherapists will not be content with your recovery until you are confident of your recovery. Unfortunately, many people are forced to give up physiotherapy before they are ready because of insurance coverage.
Does insurance cover physiotherapy?
Most insurance companies will cover physiotherapy as it helps to recover from injury and surgery. Ultimately, physiotherapy reduces symptoms and helps patients recover with less pain, which benefits the companies as it saves them money. Your physiotherapist or insurance company will be able to tell you if your insurance covers the recommended therapy and treatment.
If you do not have physiotherapy, then you can still receive services by paying directly. For those where cost is a barrier, you may be able to make payments or modify your treatment to be more home-based to reduce the costs. Some physiotherapies are not covered by insurance, but you must speak to your insurance company to determine the terms.
Why choose Portland Urgent Care for physiotherapy?
Portland Urgent Care works with a multitude of insurance companies to serve more customers. We also use various integrated medical resources by combining both western and eastern medical healthcare, which allows us to serve you the way your body needs. We offer same-day and walk-in appointments for sprains for immediate relief with the best doctors.
Get a dedicated treatment plan for physiotherapy with a team of therapists ready to help you recover. With a host of other pain management and therapies, we can help you find the right treatments to help you feel better and recover from injuries. Call Portland Urgent Care today and schedule an appointment with one of our physiotherapists to start your recovery journey.
Physiotherapy is a necessary treatment to help you learn to move your body correctly for recovery after a surgery or injury. The time spent in physiotherapy depends on the type and location of the injury, level of patient involvement, and the patient’s rate of healing. Visit our urgent care for your physiotherapy and start moving better so you can get back to life.