Do I REALLY need to go to physical therapy 2 or 3 times a week for 4-6 weeks?
Patients never really say it, but I can tell they don’t really want to commit to 2-3 times a week of physical therapy treatment. I’m not sure I would want to commit to that much time, given my busy schedule. So…..I often schedule patients 1-2 times a week unless they hurt really badly or they have an injury, surgery or goal that demands they come in 3 times a week.
If you’ve had a fresh injury like an ankle sprain, knee sprain, etc, PT right away is important to keep you as mobile and strong as you can be without making your injury worse. This idea applies to some surgeries (see the surgeries mentioned in this post http://comstockpt.com/2014/02/01/physical-therapy-hurt/). You may wonder, what happens if I don’t go to PT early on?
Let me tell you, it is BAD news! When you are in a lot of pain from an injury some muscles shorten up and spasm to protect you and other ones get shut down. As a matter of fact recent science has shown that the big muscle on the front of your thigh (the quadriceps) begins to get shut down by your central nervous system 12 hours after pain begins.
When your pain level is lower, and your condition not as fresh you can cut down to 1 to 2 times a week. Chances are you will do well at 1 x per week if you are consistent in doing the exercise program the therapist has given you for homework.
Talk to your PT, she or he will work it out with you.