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Improvement vs PT

This week's question -

How long after starting PT should I see improvement?

My answer -

Of course there are a lot of questions I would need answered before answering this one, like what type of injury you have, how long you have had it, etc, however I still want to do my best to provide some insight.

I generally tell my patients that by the third time they see me, there should be some noticeable change. Does this mean they are all better and no longer have pain? No. Does this mean they are back to lifting/walking/running/flipping/driving/etc without pain? No. But by the third visit, something should have changed.

Now, in order to see this change there are a few things we need to look at. This does not always come in the form of "I have less pain." But could be rather "when my pain comes, it does not last as long," or "I have the same amount of pain at the end of the day, but I did more activity."

If there is absolutely no change by the third visit, in most circumstances it is time to change the approach. Not stop PT, not get surgery, but maybe change the input into our body to something our brain likes better. Maybe start at the bottom instead of the top, the outside instead of the inside.

However there are not really any circumstances I can think of where you should go to PT 10 times or more, with no change, and have your PT saying, "just keep coming, just give it time!" If this is the case, it is time to find a new PT! If your PT is insisting to keep "giving it time" after 2 or 3 months, give me a call!. 973-556-8465

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