Dealing with pain and injury can be a stressful time in a person’s life. Having unanswered questions about what a rehab process might look like, what it may cost, how long it can take to get better, and the best ways to go about seeing a physical therapist certainly don’t make matters easier. With this in mind, we wanted to put together one place that answers the most asked questions about seeing a physical therapist and the rehab process.
However, in place of a standard co-pay, some insurance plans function through a co-insurance payment system which may require that you meet your deductible before the insurance company begins to pay. In these cases, seeing a physical therapist can fall in the $100 per session range until your deductible has been met. Once your deductible has been met, the cost will range from $10-50 depending on the co-insurance percentage agreement your specific insurance plan set up.
With that said, an average of 2 visits per week will often be the “sweet spot” for most conditions. If you just had surgery or are in a high degree of pain, your physical therapist may recommend 3 times per week for the early phases of rehab to prevent muscle atrophy and make sure your joints are staying mobile to set you up for success later in recovery.
Once you have begun making good progress, have your home exercise program down well, and are feeling confident in the plan you and your PT have made you may transition down to 1 visit per week for a short time and then even transition down further to once every other week in order for you to stay in contact with your PT and have guidance and progressions as you continue to fully rehab your injury and make the positive changes and adaptations to your body needed to keep you going strong and pain free in the future!
If it is determined that you still need further care after 10-15 business days, you will need a referral from a physician.
Some body tissues heal faster than others (Healing speed from fastest to slowest: skin > muscles > bones > tendons/ligaments > cartilage > nerves), and sometimes even after your tissues heal, your nervous system can get extra sensitive in the area of an injury and that often takes time to adapt and come back down to your normal levels.
With that said, MOST non-surgical conditions make a lot of progress or even completely resolve with physical therapy in 6-8 weeks.
If you just had surgery or have had chronic pain for a long period of time, your physical therapist may recommend seeing you for a longer period to allow for tissues to heal adequately in the event of surgery and/or longer-term changes to occur in the case of long term chronically painful conditions.
Once you have begun making good progress, have your home exercise program down well, and are feeling confident in the plan you and your PT have made you may feel comfortable “graduating” from PT earlier than the original plan laid out by your PT.
This is a good thing! We love it when we can give people the plans, tools, and education to take things into their own and hands and be successful on their own!