If you have been advised to have Physiotherapy by your primary healthcare provider, you’ll likely have a lot of questions. This may include specialist questions about your condition or more general questions about the length of treatment and what you can expect on your road to recovery. In this article, we answer one of those questions, filling in the gaps relating to how many sessions you need and how long appointments are.
So, how often should you do Physiotherapy? It is usually recommended to attend 2-3 Physio appointments per week during the initial stages of recovery, however, this may lessen as you begin to heal. Of course, this estimate depends on the condition in question, but the Physiotherapist will be able to recommend a suitable schedule after a consultation.
Read on to learn more about Physio appointments including information on how many sessions you may need, at-home exercises and whether or not you can overdo it.
How Often Should You Do Physiotherapy?
Depending on the condition in question, you may be asked to attend Physio appointments 2-3 times per week initially. You will usually first be asked to attend an assessment where the Physiotherapist evaluates your condition and determines an appropriate Physiotherapy schedule. This will inform how many times per week you should have Physiotherapy and will also consider at-home exercises.
After a period of time, your Physiotherapist will re-evaluate your condition and will likely review your Physiotherapy schedule to best suit your new requirements.
How Often Should You Do Physiotherapy at Home?
As part of your Physiotherapy schedule, you will likely be asked to perform a range of activities and exercises at home between Physio appointments to aid recovery. How often you do these exercises will depend on the condition in question, however, as a general guide:
- Exercises with a low load or intensity can be performed daily (or twice daily in some cases).
- Exercises with a higher load or intensity should be done less often; no more than 2-3 times per week. These exercises are important for recovery but can delay healing if done incorrectly or too often.
If you’re unsure about the load or intensity of an exercise, consult with your Physiotherapist before performing the exercise. They will also be able to advise on how often you should do such exercises.
What is a good Physiotherapy Schedule?
If you have scheduled Physiotherapy appointments 2-3 times per week, it may be beneficial to organise at-home exercises for the days that you do not have appointments, also factoring in at least one rest day. A 1-week example schedule could look like:
Monday: Physio appointment
Tuesday: At-home, low load, low intensity
Wednesday: Physio appointment
Thursday: At-home, higher load, higher intensity
Friday: Physio appointment
Saturday: At-home, low load, low intensity
Sunday: Rest day
Can You Overdo Physiotherapy?
Yes, it is very easy to overdo Physiotherapy. We understand your desire to heal and recover but overdoing it will just set you back and may make the condition worse, resulting in microtraumas to the tendons, bones and joints. It’s best to listen to the advice of your Physiotherapist and not do more exercise than they recommend.
For reference, in healthy bodies, overdoing exercise can result in overuse injuries such as tennis elbow, swimmer’s elbow, runner’s knee, jumper’s knee, Achilles tendinitis and shin splints. Such injuries to bodies that are already recovering from another condition will only make the overall recovery process longer and more difficult.
How Long is a Physio Appointment?
The length of Physiotherapy appointments vary based on the clinic’s practices, the type of appointment, and the requirements of your condition. That being said, the average Physio appointment will typically last for 30-60 minutes. Appointments treating musculoskeletal conditions are usually 30 minutes long, whereas appointments for neurological, paediatric and other physiotherapy treatment sessions may last up to one hour.
Your initial assessment appointment will usually last between 45-90 minutes.
Physiotherapy isn’t one-size-fits-all; however, on average, you can expect to be asked to attend 2-3 Physio appointments per week during the initial stages of your recovery. You will also be required to attend an assessment appointment before your treatment properly kicks off.
Additionally, your Physiotherapist will likely recommend a number of exercises and activities for you to do at home between appointments, although it’s important to stick to their recommended routine to avoid overdoing it and setting back your recovery.
This information, whilst aimed at the general public, may also be of use to other healthcare professionals that refer patients to Physiotherapists, either as part of an existing care plan, or for solo treatment.
At Breeze Academy, we offer a number of CPD courses for healthcare providers that encourage interdisciplinary consideration but also promote healthy care plans and recovery schedules. Take a look at our courses today; we offer Acupuncture & Dry Needling, Sports Massage Training, Clinical Yoga Teacher Training and more.