What's Next After Physical Therapy?

Injuries are never fun, but what comes after physical therapy? Learn how to maintain progress after PT with expert advice.

What's Next After Physical Therapy?

Injuries are never fun, and the first few days of physical therapy can be especially difficult. If you're recovering from an injury or surgery, the last thing you want to do is have someone force you to do strength training and then massage the area with metal tools or needles. Some patients are concerned about returning to exercising and playing sports on their own after treatment. With the patient's permission, your physical therapist can contact a personal trainer or coach so that everyone can agree on how to increase the intensity of the workout.

For those patients who enjoyed the camaraderie of being close to other patients with similar injuries, there are transitional group fitness programs. Many of these programs are run by Strength & Fitness Specialists who also have experience in sports medicine. Just because you've “graduated” from physical therapy doesn't mean you have to stop working with your therapist to get stronger, have more mobility, and reduce your chances of injury. Depending mainly on your insurance or what you can afford, physical therapy can give you different results.

This leads to earlier discharge, often before the patient (or physical therapist) is ready.Consider abandoning the aging limits of providers contracted by insurance & go to a performance physical therapist. Bonnie thought that after completing physical therapy, she would be “as good as she was before her back injury”. In essence, physical therapy (PT) is about finding exercises that help you overcome injuries and develop your physical condition and strength. Her physical therapist referred her to us because she felt she needed a movement-based solution rather than a treatment-based one.Most of the time, patients attend physical therapy for 2 or 3 visits a week for a few weeks, usually between 4 and 8 weeks.

Your therapeutic exercise program will continue to evolve and incorporate more and more activities specific to your personal goals until you can achieve them outside of the physical therapy clinic. Some patients leave physical therapy feeling 100% and return to their usual active lifestyle and previous exercise routine.Whether your goal is to return to the field or simply function without pain, exercise after physical therapy is key to maintaining and continuing your progress. Another problem here is that many physical therapy clinics are not prepared to help you enter that “after physical therapy” phase. Working with an excellent physical therapist doesn't have to end when you've recovered a basic level of functioning with a good reduction in pain.

After you finish physical therapy, you should be significantly stronger than when you started and have enough exercise to continue your journey.