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Physical Therapy Instructions

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

What do I need to know about physical therapy (PT)?

PT helps mobility, body function, pain, and overall fitness. PT can also help you recover after an injury. A physical therapy provider will create a PT plan that is best for you. The plan is based on your age, health condition, and goals for PT.

How do I prepare for PT?

Your physical therapy provider will tell you how to prepare for PT. Your provider will examine you and ask about your symptoms. He or she may have you do physical tests to see how well you can move. You may need more testing if you have a heart or lung condition.

What will happen during PT?

Your PT session will depend on your PT plan and goals. You may do exercises or stretches with your physical therapy provider. Your provider may teach you exercises or stretches you can do at home. Do these exercises as directed. Tell your provider if you have any pain during these exercises or stretches. Your provider may use different techniques to help with pain. This includes ice, heat, massage, or electrical stimulation.

What should I expect after PT?

You may need to continue exercising or stretching at home even if you have met your PT goals. This may help prevent another injury or control pain.

How do I exercise safely at home?

Follow your physical therapy provider's instructions. Below are general guidelines:

Call your doctor or physical therapist if:

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.