What is Physical Therapy?

Category: Physical Therapy

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See also: Rehabilitation Physical Therapy

Physical therapy (PT) is a component of rehabilitation to build strength, mobility and fitness. PT may be used short term after an injury or long term following traumatic injury or serious illness such as a stroke to regain as much independence and functioning as possible.

Reported purpose & perceived effectiveness
Purpose Patients Patients with evaluations Perceived Effectiveness
Osteoarthritis 304 60
Stiffness/Spasticity 261 73
Degenerative Disc Disease 254 47
Fibromyalgia 135 55
Balance problems 115 48
Improve flexibility/strength 79 20

  • Major
  • Moderate
  • Slight
  • None
  • Can't tell

Side effects

Side effects as an overall problem

side_effects of Physical Therapy"

Severe
38
Moderate
70
Mild
112
None
314

Commonly reported side effects, conditions, and hospitalizations associated with Physical Therapy

Pain 63
Fatigue 29
Muscle aches 20
Hospitalization 17
Muscle soreness 13
Pain in lower back 11

Show all 88 reported side effects

Dosages

Most common dosages (by patients currently going to Physical Therapy)
Dosage Patients
60 min weekly 131
weekly 127
120 min weekly 123
180 min weekly 78
90 min weekly 74
as needed 58
daily 53
30 min weekly 41
45 min weekly 26
30 min daily 25
Why Patients Stopped Going to Physical Therapy (multiple reasons could be selected)
Reason Patients
Course of treatment ended 494
Did not seem to work 229
Expense 184
Other 179
Side effects too severe 115
Doctor's advice 80
Change in health plan coverage 64
Not indicated 12
Personal research 9
See all 978 patients who’ve stopped going to Physical Therapy

Duration

Currently Going to Physical Therapy
Duration Patients
0-1 month 2
1-3 months 6
3-6 months 18
6 months-1 year 29
1-2 years 41
2 years or more 167
Stopped Going to Physical Therapy
Duration Patients
0-1 month 114
1-3 months 323
3-6 months 199
6 months-1 year 117
1-2 years 77
2 years or more 103
Adherence
Always
267 50%
Usually
183 34%
Sometimes
64 12%
Never
20 4%
Burden
Very
78 15%
Somewhat
192 36%
A little
150 28%
Not at all
114 21%
Cost per month
$200+
80 22%
$100-199
69 19%
$50-99
39 11%
$25-49
25 7%
< $25
144 40%
Last updated:

88 patient evaluations for Physical Therapy

Tulabee
14440 thumb
Tulabee
Sex: F
Data Quality: 3 stars
On
Mouth/throat: mild
Arms: mild
Chest: mild
Legs: mild
I am: n
I have:
Parkinson's

See Tulabee's full Physical Therapy history

Nov 9, 2014 (Started Oct 06, 2009)

  • Perceived effectiveness for Parkinson's Disease: Moderate
  • Side Effects: None
  • Adherence: Sometimes
  • Burden: Somewhat
Advice & Tips: July 2014. Visit to orthopedist and PT for shoulder impingement.
Cost: $25-49 monthly

Nov 9, 2009 (Started Oct 06, 2009)

  • Perceived effectiveness for Parkinson's Disease: Moderate
  • Side Effects: None
  • Adherence: Usually
  • Burden: Not at all
Dosage: 90 min Monthly
Advice & Tips: My fitsy 3 visits gave me enough exercises for several months. I don't know how often i should see the PT.
Cost: $25-49 monthly

  • 0 helpful marks
StrkL
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StrkL
Sex: M
Data Quality: 3 stars
Off
Mouth/throat: mild
Arms: none
Chest: none
Legs: mild
I am: g
I have:
Parkinson's

See StrkL's full Physical Therapy history

Jun 25, 2014 (Started Jun 01, 2009)

  • Perceived effectiveness for Improve mobility: Major
  • Perceived effectiveness for Freezing of gait: Moderate
  • Perceived effectiveness for Dystonia: Major
  • Perceived effectiveness for Parkinson's Disease: Moderate
  • Perceived effectiveness for Balance problems: Major
  • Side Effects: None
  • Adherence: Usually
  • Burden: Not at all
Dosage: 30 min Weekly
Advice & Tips: I am putting this in a separate category from my regular workout routine. I do this to reduce dystonia and to reduce freezing. My Home Physical Therapy consists of 5 things: 1. Balance exercises; 2. Walking with weights; 3. Walking on my heels; 4. Walking on my toes; 5. Walking backwards and sideways. Here were the descriptions of what I do: 1. Balance exercises A. Every other day, I swing a 10-lb dumbbell around my waist while standing on one leg -(2 sets of 60 sec each on left leg, one set of 60 sec on right leg). The other day I do the exercises on a wobble board. Most day I also attempt to stand on each leg for 60 sec with my eyes closed (I stand in a corner and put my hands out for balance.B. Spins I spin clockwise once, then counter-clockwise once; then I spin CW twice and CCW twice; then CW three times and CCW three times; then CW five times and CCW five times. I do A before the rest of my workout; I do B before and after. 2. Walking with weights A. I walk with 20-lb dumbbells for about 5 minutes before the rest of my workout. Most days I also walk with 10-lb dumbbells for 5 minutes before the rest of my workout. 3. Walking on my heels. I walk on my heels for five minutes after my workout. 4. Walking on my toes I walk on my toes for about five minutes every other day after the rest of my workout. 5. Walking backwards and sideways. Most weeks I will, a couple of times a week, walk backwards for twp or three minutes, walk sideways to the left for two minutes, and walk sideways to the right for two minutes. I do this after the rest of my workout.
Cost: < $25 monthly

Feb 10, 2014 (Started Jun 01, 2009)

  • Perceived effectiveness for Freezing of gait: Moderate
  • Perceived effectiveness for Dystonia: Major
  • Perceived effectiveness for Parkinson's Disease: Moderate
  • Perceived effectiveness for Balance problems: Major
  • Side Effects: None
  • Adherence: Always
  • Burden: Not at all
Dosage: 30 min Monthly
Advice & Tips: I am putting this in a separate category from my regular workout routine. I do this to reduce dystonia and to reduce freezing. My Home Physical Therapy consists of 4 things: 1. Balance exercises; 2. Walking with weights; 3. Walking on my heels; 4. Walking on my toes: Here are the descriptions of what I do: 1. Balance exercises A. I swing a 10-lb dumbbell around my waist while standing on one leg -(2 sets of 30 sec each on right leg, 2 sets of 60 sec each on left leg). B. Standing on wobble board (2 sets of 30 sec each on right leg, 2 sets of 60 sec each on left leg). C. Spins I spin clockwise once, then counter-clockwise once; then I spin CW twice and CCW twice; then CW three times and CCW three times; then CW five times and CCW five times. I do A and B before the rest of my workout; I do C before and after. 2. Walking with weights A. I walk with 15-lb dumbbells for 2-3 minutes B. I walk backward with 5-lb dumbbells for 2-3 minutes I do A and B before the rest of my workout. 3. Walking on my heels A. I walk on my heels for one minute before the rest of my workout B. I walk on my heels for five minutes after I'm done 4. Walking on my toes I walk on my toes for about a minute before the rest of my workout
Cost: < $25 monthly

Sep 25, 2012 (Started Jun 01, 2009)

  • Perceived effectiveness for Parkinson's Disease: Moderate
  • Perceived effectiveness for Dystonia: Moderate
  • Side Effects: Mild
  • Adherence: Always
  • Burden: A little
Dosage: 30 min Monthly
Advice & Tips: I follow a specific program to reduce my dystonia. See http://home.earthlink.net/~strkl/ for it.
Cost: < $25 monthly

Dec 1, 2011 (Started Jun 01, 2009)

  • Perceived effectiveness for Dystonia: Moderate
  • Side Effects: Moderate
  • Adherence: Usually
  • Burden: Somewhat
Dosage: 30 min Monthly
Advice & Tips: My dystonia is worse in my left foot. It becomes pigeon-toed (pointing inward), and tends to twist so that I land on the outside of my foot when walking. In fact, I need to be careful that my ankle doesn't roll over (twisting my ankle). If I concentrate on landing more to the inside of my foot, and trying to keep my foot straight, I can continue to walk for a while. I've worked up to the point where I can walk for a mile or more this way. And I've found that I seem to have built up resistance to dystonia. I can exercise at higher intensity, or for a longer time, before getting dystonia. It used to be that once I went into dystonia, I would have to stop walking or running and finish my workout on an exercise bike or elliptical machine. And I would not be able to walk normally until I took my next dose and waited 30 to 60 minutes for it to take effect. (And it would be preferable to take my next dose immediately, or it would take two hours for me to come on then.) But now, even after pushing through the dystonia, once I shower and change, my dystonia is gone, and I can take my medication on my usual schedule. I do this as part of my regular exercise routine, not as Home Physical Therapy. I've just entered it this way because it seems to be the only way I can do so. I wrote about this in more detail at http://www.patientslikeme.com/forum/pd/topics/100055?post_id=1535080#post-1535080
Cost: < $25 monthly

  • 0 helpful marks
whatacall
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whatacall
Sex: F
Data Quality: 3 stars
Pain: Little
Fatigue: Little
Sleep: Some
Stiffness: Little
function: Some
external_stress: Little
Stickman: little
Description:F53y
FM:2y Dx
I am: g
I have:
Fibromyalgia

See whatacall's full Physical Therapy history

Jan 10, 2014 (Started Sep 15, 2012)

  • Perceived effectiveness for Herniated disks in lower back, L4 and L5: Slight
  • Perceived effectiveness for Back pain: Slight
  • Perceived effectiveness for Pain in shoulders: Slight
  • Perceived effectiveness for Neck pain: Slight
  • Perceived effectiveness for Osteoarthritis: Moderate
  • Side Effects: Mild
  • Adherence: Always
  • Burden: Somewhat
Dosage: 360 min Weekly
Advice & Tips: have to keep the muscles moving
Cost: $200+ monthly

Nov 4, 2013 (Started Sep 15, 2012)

  • Perceived effectiveness for Plantar fasciitis (painful foot): Moderate
  • Perceived effectiveness for Broken Bone: Moderate
  • Perceived effectiveness for Back pain: Moderate
  • Perceived effectiveness for Pain in shoulders: Moderate
  • Perceived effectiveness for Neck pain: Moderate
  • Perceived effectiveness for Osteoarthritis: Slight
  • Perceived effectiveness for Tendinitis: Moderate
  • Perceived effectiveness for Fibromyalgia: Major
  • Perceived effectiveness for Degenerative Disc Disease: Moderate
  • Side Effects: Mild
  • Adherence: Always
  • Burden: A little
Dosage: 360 min Weekly
Advice & Tips: Helps with after surgery to be able to do more than if I hadn't done it. Breathing in and out helps with minor pain to cool down muscles. Don't go and drive if you are taking pain meds cause you can be charged with DUI.
Cost: $200+ monthly

Sep 20, 2013 (Started Sep 15, 2012)

  • Perceived effectiveness for Plantar fasciitis (painful foot): Moderate
  • Perceived effectiveness for Broken Bone: None
  • Perceived effectiveness for Back pain: Can’t tell
  • Perceived effectiveness for Pain in shoulders: Moderate
  • Perceived effectiveness for Neck pain: Can’t tell
  • Perceived effectiveness for Osteoarthritis: Moderate
  • Perceived effectiveness for Tendinitis: Moderate
  • Perceived effectiveness for Fibromyalgia: Major
  • Perceived effectiveness for Degenerative Disc Disease: Slight
  • Side Effects: Moderate
  • Adherence: Always
  • Burden: Somewhat
Dosage: 360 min Weekly
Advice & Tips: no pain no gain doesn't work with fibromyalgia start low go slow does must believe in your own power to heal yourself from management of pain and stretching muscles and tendons and ligaments. went from constantly being in pain to intermittent pain daily and given me the chance to exercise daily or 5 days a week it does help sometimes just sweating helps the pain. I can or I will sometimes happens in your vocabulary to yourself and others after therapy.
Cost: $200+ monthly

Sep 19, 2013 (Started Sep 15, 2012)

  • Perceived effectiveness for Neck pain: Can’t tell
  • Perceived effectiveness for Pain in shoulders: Can’t tell
  • Perceived effectiveness for Plantar fasciitis (painful foot): Major
  • Perceived effectiveness for Broken Bone: None
  • Perceived effectiveness for Back pain: None
  • Perceived effectiveness for Osteoarthritis: None
  • Perceived effectiveness for Tendinitis: Moderate
  • Perceived effectiveness for Fibromyalgia: Moderate
  • Perceived effectiveness for Degenerative Disc Disease: None
  • Side Effects: Moderate
  • Adherence: Always
  • Burden: Very
Cost: $200+ monthly

  • 0 helpful marks
Last updated:
Showing 3 of 88 patient evaluations for Physical Therapy