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When Are You Actually Done With Physical Therapy?

Foundational exercises on the floor, against gravity, etc. have their place & must be done. It’s part of motor learning, reprogramming, it starts HERE. So don’t skip this. BUT… we shouldn’t don’t stop here, either. If exercises aren’t progressed to a level that demands the same amount of effort that matches the patient’s goals or mechanism of injury — they’re about to need help in as little as… the next time they try that very activity. ⁣ Most physical therapists I know are great about this. Nevertheless, sometimes I’ll get a patient who “finished” PT after i.e. a foot surgery and their last exercise was using a resistance band around their ankle…. and now (no surprise), “It hurts with walking.” ⁣ ⁣ This is even more important for athletes and sports. If an athlete is discharged from PT before sport-specific movements, a step has been missed. If the athlete isn’t sweating in physical therapy or lacks a plan with strength & conditioning that will handle it, they won’t be ready for game time. ⁣

Obviously there’s only so much time in a single visit, but we physical therapists have to make sure they’re ready to cut left & drive past another player with clean mechanics, after they’re tired and do it as efficiently as possibly. ⁣ If you “finish rehab” and the hardest exercises were wall sits and 3 sets of 10 reps of air squats & no impact training, you’ve been prepared for a flight of stairs, not competition.⁣

Patients, if you're unsure, ask your PT how their plan will help you reach your goals. If they can’t explain it to you, you’re allowed and entitled to finding a new PT.⁣


Feel like you started physical therapy but aren’t sure if you met or are ready for your final goals? Let’s chat. Book a free consultation with me today!

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