Get Right Physio

How Long Will It Take For Me To Get Better From Physiotherapy?

As physiotherapists, we receive various inquiries from patients.

  • What can help improve my condition?
  • Will my condition come back?
  • Can I continue with my regular activities?

However, one of the most common questions we get asked is: How long will it take for me to get better after starting physiotherapy?

While this is a great question, it’s not one we can answer without first considering an array of factors.

The Initial Assessment

Subjective assessments, objective assessments, postural assessments, neurological assessments, functional assessments, outcome measures, standardized tests – the list goes on and on. But, in essence, several types of assessments can be performed on a new patient before a qualified physiotherapist administers a treatment plan.

 If you ask a fitness trainer how long it will take you to get a six-pack, they’ll likely need to first conduct an evaluation to determine your baseline – how does your current fitness level align with your age and body type, what dietary changes do you need to make, or how committed will you be to achieving your goal are some of the key criteria that will first need to be addressed.

Physiotherapy is similar in the sense that a qualified physiotherapist needs to measure metrics related to your strength, mobility, and range of motion to tailor precise interventions to address your individual needs and optimize treatment effectiveness for personalized and efficient rehabilitation.

Think of the initial assessment as a roadmap to realizing your well-being goals. Through addressing the root causes of your condition – whether it’s enhancing strength or balance, improving flexibility, or restoring optimal functional mobility – insights are gained to guide your physiotherapist in developing a targeted and individualized treatment plan, ultimately leading to more successful and efficient rehabilitation outcomes.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

Like A Dietary Supplement…

Results may vary…when it comes to answering the question of how long it will take for you to get better from physiotherapy.

Why? Because your recovery is related to multiple factors.

Pain threshold– For instance, if you are experiencing chronic pain, it may take longer to alleviate symptoms compared to acute pain; whereas a higher pain level may necessitate a more gradual progression of exercises to avoid exacerbating discomfort during the rehabilitation process.

Condition type– The specific musculoskeletal or neurological condition you are dealing with significantly influences your recovery timeline as conditions like acute muscle strains or joint sprains might respond more quickly to physiotherapy compared to complex issues such as frozen shoulder; therefore, understanding the intricacies of your condition allows the physiotherapist to tailor the treatment plan to address the root cause effectively. 

Exercise compliance– Your commitment to following the prescribed exercises and rehabilitation program plays a pivotal role in the success of physiotherapy; consistency and adherence to the recommended exercises at home contribute to the overall progress while non-compliance or irregularity in performing exercises may impede recovery and prolong the rehabilitation process.

Treatment quality– The quality of the treatment plan and programming that is prescribed to you is essential, hence why the initial assessment plays such a prominent role in your recovery journey; a well-designed plan takes into account your individual needs, addressing both the symptoms and underlying causes of your condition so that regular reassessment and adjustments by your physiotherapist can ensure that your treatment plan evolves in tandem with your progress to optimize the chances of a successful and timely recovery.

On average, in textbook cases, acute injuries can resolve in a 4-6 week period while more chronic injuries will take between 8-12 weeks. These timelines are for your typical orthopaedic injuries like ankle sprains and rotator cuff issues for example. However, if you’re recovering from a stroke, if you are elderly, or if you have comorbidities, your prognosis will vary alongside your recovery timeline.

Collaboration is Key

At the end of the day, physiotherapy is a partnership between you and your physiotherapist.

The physiotherapist uses their expertise to assess and treat you but they should also prescribe a home exercise program for the most part – and if they don’t, you should be asking questions because all of the evidence-based literature recommends exercise.

You are the second partner in this relationship and you need to do your homework – doing your exercises within the specified frequency and parameters that are prescribed to you (sets, reps, number of times per day, and number of times per week) is what will help you stay on course and accelerate progress.

With that said, if you’re looking for a partnership or accountability as well as the answer to how long it will take you to get better from physiotherapy – get in touch today for an initial assessment.