Inpatient vs Outpatient Physical Therapy: What Are the Differences?

Are you dealing with an injury and wondering what the best route is for helping you get back on your feet? Therapy plays a significant role in helping you recover from an injury.

But it can be pretty confusing between inpatient vs. outpatient physical therapy. You want to know which is the best option to suit your needs. Many types of therapy have perks, but you’ll need to consider your lifestyle and budget.

Here’s an in-depth look at the differences between inpatient vs outpatient physical therapy.

Inpatient Physical Therapy

Inpatient therapy requires someone to stay in a hospital or facility for a certain amount of time. Most insurance companies will cover this. This is especially if a doctor recommends it.

This can help patients recover from injuries and chronic pain and improve mobility. Inpatient physical therapy is more person-centered and encourages a personalized approach to treatment. Patients receive individualized instruction and support as they work to regain function.

This allows therapists to focus better on the specific needs of each patient. They aim to provide a comfortable environment for patients. Making it easier for them to take part in their rehabilitation program.

For example, people with a spinal cord injury often need special care. Inpatient therapy can help regain many of their old skills and abilities.

Parkinson’s disease patients often experience stiffness in the arms and legs. Inpatient therapy can help improve movement and range of motion in these areas.

Pros and Cons of Inpatient Physical Therapy

There are many pros to inpatient therapy. Patients who receive inpatient therapy enjoy shorter hospital stays. They also have increased chances for recovery through inpatient rehabilitation.

Inpatient therapy can also be a great way to meet new people and connect with support groups. Inpatient physical therapy (IPT) is challenging to find space for.

This increase in demand has led to a shortage of therapists, making it challenging to provide services.  But, there are some cons to inpatient physical therapy.

Some of these cons are it is expensive, long-term, and difficult to find. Additionally, inpatient physical therapy can be dangerous if not done right.

Outpatient Physical Therapy

There are many benefits to outpatient physical therapy. One advantage is outpatient physical therapy is less expensive than inpatient physical therapy.

Another benefit is that outpatient physical therapy can be more convenient for patients. Outpatient physical therapy can also be more flexible than inpatient physical therapy.

This therapy is in an outpatient setting and can improve the range of motion and relieve pain. These problems can include shoulder, elbow, and hand injuries, arthritis, and other types of pain. It can also improve your health by reducing the risk of chronic pain.

Your first outpatient physical therapy appointment will likely last between 60 and 90 minutes. Your physical therapist will ask questions about your medical history and current symptoms.

Based on this information, they will develop a treatment plan for you. The treatment plan may include exercises, stretches, manual therapy, and electrical stimulation.

After that, your therapist will teach you how to perform these treatments at home. You can continue your progress after you finish your outpatient physical therapy appointments.

Pros and Cons of Outpatient Physical Therapy

Outpatient physical therapy is one of the most popular forms of healthcare in the United States. This therapy may be a good choice for some people, but there are several points to consider. Outpatient physical therapy can be expensive, time-consuming, and need regular check-ins.

Also, outpatient physical therapy may not offer the same quality of care as inpatient treatment. If you’re considering outpatient physical therapy, ensure you have all the information you need before signing up.

Factors in Choosing Inpatient or Outpatient Physical Therapy

There are many factors to consider when choosing inpatient or outpatient physical therapy. Inpatient therapy may be better if you have a more severe injury or condition. Also, inpatient therapy is perfect if you need extensive or 24-hour care.

Outpatient therapy may be better if you have a less severe injury or condition. It’s also good if you live close to the therapy facility, or need more flexible scheduling. You should decide between inpatient and outpatient physical therapy based on your recovery needs.

Inpatient vs Outpatient Physical Therapy Costs

There are a few things to consider when considering the cost of physical therapy. Inpatient physical therapy costs more because you pay for the facility, the equipment, and the service. But, outpatient physical therapy costs less because you only pay for the service.

When considering the cost of physical therapy, you must consider what you need and can afford. The cost of inpatient physical therapy can vary depending on the length of stay and the intensity of therapy. But, inpatient therapy costs between $500 and $800 daily.

In contrast, outpatient therapy costs an average of $200 per visit. But, the number of outpatient therapy visits can vary depending on the individual’s needs.

Which is Right for Me? Inpatient or Outpatient Physical Therapy

The decision of whether to opt for inpatient or outpatient physical therapy depends on many factors. In general, inpatient therapy is recommended for those who have recently suffered a serious injury or undergone a major surgery.

However, it is also important to consider one’s overall health, existing medical conditions and treatment goals. For instance, those with chronic pain or complex medical needs may be better suited for inpatient care. Ultimately, it is important to consult with a doctor or physical therapist to determine which setting would be more beneficial.

Get the Best Therapy for Your Needs

When considering inpatient vs outpatient physical therapy, keep in mind the time, budget, and recovery you need. You should go to an inpatient facility if you’re considering around-the-clock physical therapy.

Outpatient facilities may be better if you live nearby and can commit to attending appointments. The decision comes down to what will work better for you and your schedule.

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