Physical therapy is a growing field of healthcare that has been proven to be effective in the treatment and management of a variety of conditions.

As its popularity increases, more people are beginning to ask questions about what physical therapy can do for them.

From how it works to the types of treatments available, there are many common questions people have when considering physical therapy as part of their health care plan.

In this article we will explore some frequently asked questions about physical therapy and provide answers so you can make an informed decision about your own care.

Let's begin...

1)) What Are The Benefits Of Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy offers many benefits, including the ability to strengthen muscles, increase range of motion and flexibility, improve joint stability and coordination, relieve pain caused by injury or disease, prevent further injury through proper body alignment and posture correction, and help with disability management.

Physical therapy can reduce stress and fatigue on muscles as well as enhance overall fitness levels.

It is also used to improve balance and gait patterning which helps with mobility issues.

It can be key in improving mental health by helping individuals cope with depression or anxiety that may have been caused by a medical condition or injury.

2)) How Can Physical Therapy Help With Chronic Pain?

Physical therapy can be incredibly useful for helping to manage chronic pain.

It can help improve strength, flexibility, and balance as well as reduce tension in the muscles and joints.

It can also help increase range of motion in areas that may be limited due to injury or disease.

Physical therapists use manual techniques such as massage and joint mobilizations along with therapeutic exercises to help reduce pain and promote healing.

They will typically design a customized plan for each patient depending on their exact needs and goals.

By participating in physical therapy, patients can work towards improved movement quality, better posture, increased endurance, better ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs), increased balance and reduced risk of re-injury or worsening of current condition/symptoms.

Ultimately, physical therapy can help reduce chronic pain, improve overall quality of life and help patients become more independent and active.

3)) Is Physical Therapy Covered By Insurance?

Yes, physical therapy is generally covered by most health insurance plans.

Depending on the specific plan and coverage levels, it may cover all or part of the cost of your physical therapy visits.

It's best to check with your insurance company to understand what is covered under your policy.

In some cases, you may need a referral from your doctor in order to have coverage for physical therapy services.

4)) What Can Be Expected From A Physical Therapy Session?

A physical therapy session typically includes a detailed evaluation of the patient's condition, an individualized treatment plan, and hands-on techniques such as stretching, exercise, electrical stimulation, ultrasound and/or cold/hot packs to help heal the injured area.

PTs may also use specific equipment to assist with balance or strength training.

The goal is to reduce pain, restore full range of motion, improve strength and endurance and ultimately return patients back to their activities as soon as possible.

Ultimately your physical therapist will work with you to develop a realistic plan for maximizing your recovery for you to lead a healthy life.

5)) Are There Any Risks Associated With Physical Therapy?

Yes, there are risks associated with physical therapy.

These may include minor muscle soreness or joint pain during and after the session as well as more serious complications such as nerve damage, torn tendons and soft tissue injuries that can occur due to incorrect technique or over-stretching.

It is important for patients to follow their physical therapist's instructions closely and alert them to any discomfort they experience.

By taking these precautions, patients can reduce the risks of injury during physical therapy sessions.

6)) How Long Will It Take To See Results From Physical Therapy?

The timeframe for seeing results from physical therapy can vary significantly depending on the individual and the type of injury or condition being treated.

Generally, it can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to see noticeable improvements in symptoms.

However, if there is a more serious underlying issue causing those symptoms, then it may take longer than usual for therapy to produce successful results.

In some cases, regular physical therapy over an extended period of time may be necessary in order to achieve lasting relief and improved mobility.

7)) What Types Of Exercises Are Used In Physical Therapy?

Physical therapists use a variety of exercises to help patients improve strength, range of motion, balance and coordination.

These include stretches, strengthening exercises, aerobic exercises/cardiovascular conditioning, balance and agility drills, dynamic warm-up drills and stretching techniques.

Depending on the patient's specific injury or condition, physical therapists may also recommend certain therapeutic activities such as yoga or Pilates.

The goal is to provide the correct treatment program tailored to the individual needs of each patient.

8)) Do I Need A Referral From My Doctor For Physical Therapy?

It depends on your insurance provider and specific policy. Some providers require a referral from a doctor, while others may not.

It is best to contact your insurance provider to find out their specific requirements for physical therapy visits.

In some cases, you may be able to self-refer for physical therapy services.

However, it is always a good idea to discuss your treatment options with your doctor first before scheduling a physical therapy appointment.

Your doctor will be able to make an informed decision about which type of care is best for you based on their knowledge of your medical history and current condition.

Getting a referral from your doctor is not only beneficial for obtaining insurance coverage, but it can also provide important information to the physical therapist that will help them in creating an effective treatment plan for you.

Your doctor's referral helps ensure that you receive the most appropriate care based on your individual needs and diagnosis.

9)) What Certifications Or Qualifications Does A Physical Therapist Have To Have?

Physical therapists are highly qualified healthcare professionals who must undergo comprehensive training and attain specific educational credentials to practice.

In the United States, physical therapists typically need to obtain a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited physical therapy program.

This degree program generally requires three years of full-time study after completion of a baccalaureate degree, and includes courses in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, exercise science and pharmacology.

In addition to their DPT degree, physical therapists must also pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) to become licensed.

The NPTE is a comprehensive test of knowledge and skills related to the practice of physical therapy.

Licensure is required in all 50 states, and the requirements may vary depending on where a physical therapist practices.

Physical therapists are also encouraged to get certified in their specialty areas if they wish to practice in that area.

Specialty certifications may include orthopedic physical therapy, neurological physical therapy, geriatric physical therapy and pediatric physical therapy.

10)) How Often Is It Necessary To Visit The Therapist For Treatment?

The frequency of visits to the therapist for treatment will depend on the type of therapy being received and the individual needs of the patient.

Generally, it is recommended that a patient visits at least once a week for therapy in order to make sure progress is being made.

However, this may vary from person to person depending on their specific circumstances.

It is best to discuss this with your therapist and develop an appropriate treatment plan together that meets your individual needs.


Physical therapy is a great way to help with many medical conditions and injuries.

It can be used for pain relief, improved mobility, increased strength, improved coordination, balance and more.

While there are some common questions people ask about physical therapy such as what it involves or how long the treatment may take, each patient’s situation is unique so it's best to discuss any concerns directly with your physical therapist.

With an individualized plan tailored specifically to you based on your goals and needs, physical therapy can make a huge difference in improving overall health and quality of life.