When Should You Start Physical Therapy?

Aches and pains, as well as accidents and illnesses, are all part of life. You may know that something doesn’t feel right, but you are still unsure when should you start physical therapy?

It’s not always an easy thing to determine whether a hurting back or a small wrist injury requires medical attention.

Physical therapists (PTs) can, on the other hand, help you avoid and treat subsequent impairments, speed up healing and rehabilitation, and get back to living a full life free of pain and discomfort.

So, in order to assist you in navigating the process and determining when you should see a physical therapist, we’ve compiled all you need to know!

Is Physical Therapy Necessary?

When dealing with a musculoskeletal issue, meaning an injury or ailment that affects muscles, ligaments, tendons, or bones, physical therapy is usually the best option.

People visit a physical therapist to address pain or a potential injury that is preventing them from moving, functioning, or exercising properly.

Let’s go into more depth and look at some particular scenarios that call for a PT visit.

Pain That Remains

When patients ask us, “How do I know whether I need physical therapy?” we always inquire if they’ve been in pain for a long time.

While it’s normal to feel some pain or discomfort after an exercise or physical labor, if the pain lasts more than three days, you should contact a physical therapist (and after icing the area).

The same is true after an injury: sometimes the symptoms go away after resting and avoiding certain activities, but if they don’t, schedule that visit.

Pain That is Dull and Recurrent

When does physical treatment become necessary? Any persistent, recurring pain that lasts months or years and is caused by chronic or untreated diseases or injuries might become familiar, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it.

People tend to “grow used to” pain and suffering, but a physical therapist may help you figure out what’s wrong and regain your mobility and independence.

A Variety of Traumas

When it comes to recuperating from injuries and traumas to muscles, bones, ligaments, and other body parts, physical therapy is invaluable.

Schedule an appointment with a physical therapist once your initial treatment program is completed to establish a customized recovery plan to ensure you heal properly and quickly.

Medication is Ineffective

When your pain meds don’t work, and you’re in pain, one of the times to seek physical therapy is. Physical therapy will help you manage your pain and discomfort by addressing the underlying issue (even if it is small).

Your Body is Changing

No one is going to know your body as you do, so working with a physical therapist may be beneficial if you detect any noticeable changes or are suffering pain unexpectedly.

Reduced mobility, stiffness, swelling knees or wrists, trouble doing daily duties or exercises, and so on are some of the changes. The sooner you make an appointment, the sooner a specialist can assess your needs and provide a customized treatment plan for you.


If you’ve recently had surgery or an injury, physical therapy can assist you in your recovery.

Microdiscectomy, ACL reconstruction, and arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery are examples of such procedures. The length of time it takes to attain your goals and achieve your optimal health will be determined by the rehabilitation process and how you approach it.

Other Factors

While all of the reasons listed above are valid, you do not need to have an injury, condition, or surgery to see a physical therapist and benefit from their services.

They may also help you measure your fitness level, mobility, and minor aches and pains and build an exercise program to help you improve your health or get back into exercising safely and efficiently.

Understanding your body, how it works, and how to enhance it can be extremely empowering and beneficial in achieving optimal health.

Physical therapists will do a comprehensive examination, prescribe and demonstrate exercises, and provide other wellness services such as massages.

Pregnancy is also a great time to consult a physical therapist.

How does it work?

So, how may physical therapy be of use to you? To begin, a trained physical therapist will completely analyze your mobility, injuries, or diseases, as well as any posture concerns, movement patterns, joint range of motion, and muscle strength.

All they need to do is diagnose your current state, understand where your pain and suffering are coming from, and develop a treatment plan that will help you minimize and manage pain, enhance mobility, increase range of motion, and improve your overall wellness and quality of life. They will also teach you about your body and how to care for it.

Depending on your therapy plan, your PT will employ a variety of modalities to treat you and speed up your recovery. Ultrasound, massage, exercise, electrical stimulation, heat and ice, traction, laser, and light therapy are among the methods available.

If you’re in the Asheville, NC area, we’d love to connect with you! Call 1on1 Physical Therapy TODAY! (828) 785-8388


Physical Therapy for Shin Splints

Physical Therapy for Shin Splints

When you experience pain that shoots down the front of the lower leg, or the shin bone (tibia), it is known as "shin splints." Athletes are susceptible to shin splints, so in our Asheville, NC office, we often implement physical therapy for shin splints. Let's go over...

read more
4 Exercises for Good Posture

4 Exercises for Good Posture

Poor posture is unavoidable at times, but sometimes it just becomes a habit that, with some effort, can be corrected. Tension in our muscles is prevalent among persons who work professions that involve long periods of sitting. General muscular weakness, technology...

read more
Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine

Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine

Physical therapy is used in a variety of ways in sports medicine. Many clinics have licensed sports trainers on staff who will attend on-site schools and other sporting events to act as the first responder in the event of an incident. You may be referred to physical...

read more