How Long Will I Need Physical Therapy? Easy Question. Tough Answer.
I come across a lot of questions from our patients at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation and one of the most common of them is “How Long Will I Need Physical Therapy? In fact, this question has become so common that I’ve decided to write a brief blog on this topic. This question is frequently and easily asked however unfortunately there is no correct answer. Our Physical therapists at Monmouth Spine and Rehabilitation Center treat numerous injuries, all of which can have different treatment plans. In fact, even similar injuries can have different healing timeframes. Numerous factors will play into the healing rate including the patient’s body and the dedication to the treatment. One factor that our physical therapists will take out of the equation is the quality of care. Our physical therapists are some of the most talented and experienced in the state of New Jersey. Our therapists will put you on the appropriate plan and do everything possible to keep you on the path to feeling better. So what can our patients do to expedite the healing process? A lot. In fact, the success of any physical treatment plan will depend on our patients. Following are some tips I give to our new patients that are beginning the path towards recovery:
1) Stick to the treatment plan – So many of us deal with daily responsibilities and pressures. We remember to take the dog to the vet, bring the car to the shop, and end up pushing off our own care. This is a huge mistake because when it comes to rehabilitation, our bodies will continue to deteriorate, not stay constant. Injuries that are not treated appropriately with physical therapy will only get worse. That is why we must do all we can to stick with the treatment plan. Sticking with the plan will ensure that our bodies have the best shot to heal properly and as quickly as possible.
2) Set realistic goals – Your rehabilitation will take time. How much time will depend on your body and you. It is important to take it one step at a time. Just like anything else, stress and frustration will not help the body along so it is important to keep cool and understand that there is no quick fix. One of my patients recently said to me that it’s unfair that it can take a matter of seconds to cause the injury and years to fix. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do to change that. The only thing we can do is provide you with the utmost care and treatment to expedite the healing process as best we can.
3) Take what you learn during treatment and practice it outside the facility – Initially, at the onset of care, the treatment is passive meaning that our practitioners will do the majority of the work through treatments such as massage, passive stretching, traction, cold laser therapy, and more. As we stabilize the problem, we will move into more of active care. This is when the pain begins to subside and we start to make the transition to educating you how to take what you have learned and practice it on a daily basis outside of the office. This education process starts under our direct supervision and will gradually transition to your responsibility. The amount of time for this portion of the rehabilitation will depend heavily on you. Your dedication to returning to wellness will pay huge dividends including expediting the rehabilitation time frame.
Long story short, there is no formula to equate how long your rehabilitation process will take. In fact, the question of “How long will I need physical therapy?” should really be replaced with “What can I do to make my rehabilitation most effective?” You will be surprised to see how fast the first question becomes irrelevant.