What Conditions Require Ongoing Physical Therapy?
If you have to attend physical therapy as a result of a personal injury accident such as a car wreck, slip and fall event, or work injury, your physical therapist will provide you with a treatment plan alongside the goals that you need to reach. Once you’ve undergone the set amount of appointments, you will receive an evaluation. The evaluation will tell you whether you need to continue the care if you need ongoing care or follow-up care.
If you have soft tissue injuries, your PT may only last about six to eight weeks. Once your injuries heal, you’re free to go. However, as a specialist in physical therapy for sports, like one from LeMoine Physical Therapy, can explain, some conditions may require you to have maintenance or follow-up care.
If you have a degenerative condition, then you may require ongoing and maintenance care. If you are getting stronger and gaining flexibility, it is a good sign that physical therapy is working. Unfortunately, when you stop physical therapy entirely, your condition could continue to deteriorate at the former rate.
You may need ongoing maintenance care if you need to slow your decline or maintain your level of function. Some options you have for maintenance care include home programs and skilled maintenance therapy. If you have Medicare or any other form of health insurance, make sure that your physical therapist documents that maintenance care is necessary for your condition. If the care isn’t justified, your insurance may not pay.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are complicated. You may undergo inpatient physical therapy from eight to 24 weeks. Then, you may require outpatient rehabilitation that can last anywhere between three and 12 months. Every patient is different. Someone else’s treatment may not mirror your own and you may have to be in physical therapy for longer than others.
After you are released from physical therapy, you still need to have yearly medical reviews. An SCI is complex to manage. For some people who have spinal cord injuries, symptoms may become worse over time. You may begin to feel more fatigued or you may experience pain even after treatment. It’s important to have medical exams and continue physical therapy to keep your body functioning as healthy as possible.
For a lot of people, physical therapy is necessary. It helps you regain function, build strength and balance. If you need physical therapy, consult with a physical therapist about how long he or she thinks you require care. If you begin to experience any pain following your treatment, you should always discuss it with your healthcare provider.