When to Send Patients to Physical Therapy

As the physician, it is up to your discretion when the patient is appropriate to receive physical therapy care. In most cases, however, the sooner physical therapy can see a patient the better. Benefits of early intervention by physical therapy:

  • Improved range of motion due to less scar tissue formation
  • Decreased healing time
  • Decreased risk of chronic pain
  • Faster return to work/sport/life for the patient
  • Increased patient satisfaction
  • Decreased likelihood for development of compensatory strategies that are difficult to break
  • Physical therapy can act as an additional diagnostic tool. Manual testing performed by physical therapy can provide an accurate clinical assessment in many musculoskeletal problems
  • Reduced muscular atrophy
  • Prescriptions for quality physical therapy will improve physician/patient relationships