How Many Sessions of Physiotherapy Do I Need to Get Better?


One of the most common questions we get asked by our patients when they first come to see us is how many sessions they would need to get better.

In our practice we use the "3 session rule", and that's what we explain to our patients. What does this mean?

It means that we can confidently say that if the diagnosis is correct and we have chosen the right treatment then the patient should start to notice an improvement after a maximum of three sessions. This improvement needs to be noticeable (at least 15%) and sustainable.

When we say sustainable we mean that it should last. If the patient tells us that there is a temporary reduction in their symptoms after the session but that they then go back to square one, then it's not sustainable. What we would expect by the third session at most is for this improvement to last between sessions.

As for how long it would take to achieve full recovery, the answer is not as straightforward. It would depend on a range of factors, such as:

  • nature of the problem/injury
  • onset of symptoms
  • treatment method
  • patient compliance with the treatment we prescribe
  • others

In general, however, recovery takes approximately 6-13 weeks. A lot depends on patient compliance, as mentioned in the fourth bullet point above. If the patient is committed and is an active participant in their recovery process, results will always be achieved faster and will be better.