Injuries can result in lasting physical effects. A strained ankle can cause your running speed to slow. A pulled muscle can reduce the limits of how far you can stretch. From athletic injuries to simple strains and tears, full recovery is important for your physical health. Physical therapy is one of the more comprehensive care plans you can undergo after an injury to fully recover and get back to 100%. But the length of physical therapy can vary, and this is often a big consideration for those looking to recover. So, how long does physical therapy take until full recovery? Well, it depends on a few key factors.
Extent of Injury
One of the more significant factors that affects the length of recovery time is the extent of your physical injury. Each part of the body heals in different ways and at different speeds. When you meet your physical therapist, they will perform a physical exam to determine the extent of your injury and what you need to fully recover.
Common injuries that can be treated with physical therapy include:
- Muscle strains
- Muscle and tendon tears
- Joint problems
- Fractures and sprains
Each of these injuries come with their own specific regime and requires different lengths of physical therapy. Once your therapist understands the extent of your injury, then they can better estimate how long physical therapy will take.
Physical Therapy Regime
Another factor that affects the length of recovery time after an injury is what kind of PT you will undergo. Because this necessarily hinges on the extent of your injury, your PT regime will impact how long it takes to recover after an injury. PT done in the clinic is the most common, though new virtual capabilities enable patients to complete a lot of their exercises from home.
These exercises typically include stretches, walking, repetitive motion that focuses on different muscles and joints, and other light workouts. Depending on how rigorous your PT regime is, you may be able to complete at least some of it at your home. If this is the case, you may find that the time it takes to fully recover may reduce, thanks to an increase in motivation and accessibility to your treatment.
Sometimes, your therapist may recommend treatment options that cannot be accelerated. Depending on your injury, you may have to wear compression clothing, braces or boots that restrict movement and force your muscles and joints to heal on their own. These treatments are often dictated by how serious your injury is, and how long it will take for the body to heal.
Getting Back To Normal
What matters more than how long physical therapy takes until full recovery is that you indeed achieve full recovery. After an injury, your body needs plenty of time to heal. Physical therapy is intended not to necessarily speed up the process, but to aid and complete the process. Full recovery in PT is more important than fast recovery.
Depending on the type of injury you incur, your body can take anywhere between two weeks and three or four months to heal — sometimes even longer. Here are general estimates for recovery time for common injuries treated through physical therapy:
- Muscle: 2-4 weeks
- Soft tissue: 6-8 weeks
- Ligaments: 10-12 weeks
Focus on a Full Recovery
If you experience a physical injury, and are looking for ways to fully recover and get back to 100%, a physical therapist can provide exercises and treatments that can help. Regular PT helps increase your body’s blood flow and movement capabilities. Activity is healthy and will promote a full recovery after an injury.
Virtual therapy and exercises are great ways to maintain your prescribed therapy and to stay on the road to recovery. While the length of physical therapy to fully recover can vary, staying active and diligent will streamline the process and help your body heal. Consider how virtual options and traditional, in-person physical therapy can help, whether you are a clinician or a patient.
TheraTec is ready to aid in the full recovery of physical injuries through remote patient monitoring and virtual clinical assistance. Contact us to request a demo.