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How often should you go to physical therapy? (Hint: at least once a year!)

How Often Should You Go to Physical Therapy
3 minutes, 30 seconds

Not sure how often you should go to physical therapy? It’s recommended that everyone, regardless of age, make annual visits to a physical therapist’s office.

However, there are also people who should consider seeing a physical therapist more often than once a year. Read on to learn which category you may fall into. 

Why should people visit a physical therapist annually?

Can’t remember the last time you saw a physical therapist? Here is a list of reasons why you should be putting in the effort to go see your PT specialist, at minimum, once a year: 

  • To determine the state of your health — Going to see your physical therapist once a year is a simple way for your PT provider to make an accurate assessment of your health. Once you and your provider know where your physical health is at, you can jointly take whatever steps necessary to maintain your good health and address any problem areas that may be present.
  • To identify any risks to your health — During the course of your annual visit with your physical therapist, they will identify any potential risks to your physical health — even if you aren’t displaying any symptoms yet. They’re trained to be able to recognize the warning signs and mitigate your risk accordingly.
  • To address pain or an injury affecting your health — Another good reason to visit your physical therapist’s office once a year is to receive prompt treatment if you are experiencing any pain. This factor may also influence how often you should go to physical therapy. Those with injuries or pain may need more intensive attention than those without. 
  • To take advantage of preventive care coverage from your health insurance provider — The majority of health insurance providers offer full coverage for preventive health services. Yearly PT checkups may fall into this category. To be sure, you’ll need to check with your specific health insurance provider. However, if this service does fall into the preventive care category and your provider covers it, you should take advantage of it. 

When should you consider visiting a physical therapist more often?

Annual physical therapy visits are fine if you don’t currently have an injury or a condition that’s causing pain and other symptoms. But if you have an injury or chronic condition that is causing you pain or discomfort, you would likely benefit from visiting a PT clinic more than just once a year.

There are many issues that should prompt you to seek regular help from a physical therapist. A few of the more common of these issues include: 

  • Musculoskeletal injuries — You don’t have to have a serious musculoskeletal (MSK) injury to feel pain. Something as small as a minor sprain or strain can cause you discomfort that makes your life more difficult. Fortunately, working with a physical therapist can help ease pain and discomfort from even minor MSK injuries. Doing so can also help get you back to your work, sports and normal activities faster. 
  • Arthritis — The symptoms of arthritis often ebb and flow: sometimes not affecting you much and other times making it harder to get through the day. If your arthritis symptoms have flared up, you should consider going to see a physical therapist. These specialists can assess your symptoms and help you find ways to reduce them. In addition, they can work with you to find ways to reduce the risk of your symptoms flaring up in the future.
  • Back pain — A recent Harris poll reports that 3 in 10 Americans are experiencing chronic lower back pain currently. If you’re one of these people, attending physical therapy regularly can help you. Physical therapists can determine the root cause of your lower back pain. They can also help you find effective ways to treat it and reduce your risk of recurring back pain in the future.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch annual physical therapy visits

Considering seeing a physical therapist for an annual checkup or more often for an injury or chronic issue? At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. 

Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you check up on your musculoskeletal health. 

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Contact our team today so we can help you find the most effective physical therapy services for your injury or condition. 

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