How much does physical therapy cost?
$20 – $60 cost per session (co-pay with insurance)
$80 – $150 cost per session (without insurance)
Physical therapy cost
The average cost of physical therapy with insurance is $20 to $60 per session for a co-payment. Physical therapy out-of-pocket costs are $80 to $150 per session without insurance. The average total cost for treatments over a 6- to 8-week period is $160 to $1,450 with insurance.
|Insurance coverage||Average cost per session*|
|With insurance (co-payment)||$20 – $60|
|Without insurance||$80 – $150|
*These private physical therapy costs don't include diagnostic tests.
Physical therapy session cost
Physical therapy cost with insurance
The cost of physical therapy with insurance is $20 to $60 per session for the co-payment, after you've paid the deductible. The total cost depends on your insurance plan. Every type of insurance policy has a different fixed maximum amount they allow for physical therapy coverage per year.
Your primary physician or an orthopedic doctor typically needs to prescribe physical therapy for you to qualify for insurance coverage.
Physical therapy cost without insurance
The cost of physical therapy without insurance is $80 to $150 per session on average. These standard out-of-pocket rates vary depending on the injury type and therapy procedures required.
If your insurance doesn't cover physical therapy, speak with your Human Resources department to see if your employer can help cover costs. Alternatively, some local colleges or medical schools offer physical therapy at reduced rates from supervised students in training.
Cost of physical therapy by injury type
The total cost of physical therapy with insurance is $160 to $1,450 on average, depending on the injury. Most treatments include 2 to 3 visits weekly over a period of 6 to 8 weeks, though recovery times are longer after surgery.
|Injury types||Total cost with insurance (co-pay)*||Total cost without insurance*||Number of sessions|
|Knee||$160 – $1,450||$640 – $3,600||8 – 24|
|Back pain||$240 – $1,450||$960 – $3,600||12 – 24|
|Rotator cuff||$520 – $2,000||$2,100 – $5,100||26 – 34|
|Pelvic floor||$160 – $720||$640 – $1,800||8 – 12|
*Initial evaluation fees cost $150 to $200 extra, or more for MRI diagnostic tests.
Physical therapy cost for knee injuries
Physical therapy for a knee injury costs $160 to $1,450 for 8 to 24 sessions if your insurance covers most of the fees. The price of physical therapy without insurance is $640 to $3,600 for knee-recovery programs.
Allow 6 to 8 weeks for knee joint rehabilitation, depending on the damage severity. Wearing a compression knee brace is important during this time to minimize swelling and hold the joint in place, which is especially crucial after a knee dislocation.
Cost of physical therapy for back pain
Physical therapy for back pain costs $240 to $1,450 for 12 to 24 sessions if you have insurance. Those without insurance typically pay $960 to $3,600 for a recovery program. The total number of sessions needed depends on the severity of the issue.
Treating chronic back pain or post-surgery back pain typically requires ongoing weekly treatments for several months or longer.
Physical therapy cost for rotator cuff
Physical therapy for rotator cuff injuries costs $520 to $2,000 for copayments for 26 to 34 sessions. Prices without insurance for this treatment are $2,100 to $5,100. Initially 2 to 3 sessions per week are mandatory. Rotator-cuff rehabilitation is common after shoulder surgery or for chronic shoulder pain.
Ask your doctor how long the shoulder needs to rest before starting gradual movement therapy. Physicians often recommend using a sling for 4 to 6 weeks, as moving the joint too quickly can aggravate inflammation.
After improvement is visible from a few months of physical therapy, you can typically reduce the appointments to 2 sessions per month.
Pelvic-floor physical therapy cost
Pelvic-floor physical therapy costs $160 to $720 for the average co-pay when insurance covers the treatments. Without insurance, these sessions cost $640 to $1,800 total. Pelvic floor treatments typically require 8 to 12 sessions before you start to notice improvements.
Retraining the pelvic-floor muscle group has many benefits like relieving constipation, improving reproductive health, and strengthening the bladder.
Physical therapy price factors
Physical therapy prices vary widely depending on the following factors:
Initial evaluation – The first visit often costs more for the first complete evaluation in addition to starting the treatment.
Clinic vs. in-home care – In-home physical therapy costs 2 to 3 times more than appointments in a clinic due to the extra travel time for the therapist. Costs vary depending on the terms of your insurance.
Therapist experience – Highly experienced therapists with advanced qualifications typically charge higher rates than new or less-qualified therapists.
Insurance – Your out-of-pocket cost depends on the terms of your insurance plan and deductibles.
Session length & frequency – Longer sessions come at a higher cost. Most treatments require multiple sessions over weeks or months. Ask if discounts apply for ongoing treatments.
Insurance network – Clinics that are part of your insurance network offer treatments at lower prices, while out-of-network clinics cost more.
Therapy type – Treatments involving specialized equipment may come at higher costs to cover the extra overhead fees.
Location – Physical therapy clinics in urban areas with higher costs of living are typically more expensive than treatment centers in rural areas.
Physical therapy FAQs
What is physical therapy?
Physical therapy (PT) or physiotherapy is a program of fully personalized exercises and supervised movement training to help strengthen your healing muscles and joints. Massage and stretching techniques with medical aids are typically part of the treatments to re-mobilize injured tissues safely.
The biggest benefits of physical therapy are how it speeds up the recovery process and reduces the need for pain medications.
Does physical therapy work?
Physical therapy works effectively to assist in relieving chronic pain, recovering from injuries or surgeries, and improving mobility in people with disabilities. In some cases, regular physical therapy replaces the need for surgery for repetitive strain conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.
What happens in a physical therapy session?
In a physical therapy session, your therapist evaluates your condition and guides you through specific rehabilitation exercises.
A physical therapist may also:
Check your strength levels and range of motion
Discuss recommendations for supplemental treatments
Give you at-home routines to practice between sessions
Use techniques like hands-on soft tissue mobilization, targeted stretches, ultrasound or light therapy, cupping, or electrical stimulation
Does Medicare cover physical therapy?
Medicare typically helps cover the costs of physical therapy if a doctor prescribes it. Once you pay the initial deductible for the year, Medicare then pays 80% or more of the approved amount for treatments. Ask your health insurance provider to confirm coverage and co-pay amounts.
How long is a physical therapy session?
Most physical therapy sessions are 30 to 60 minutes long with appointments 2 to 3 times per week. Depending on the treatment type, some sessions can last up to 90 minutes.
What do I wear to physical therapy?
You should wear clothing that's comfortable and loose-fitting enough to exercise in. Bring supportive athletic shoes with you and remove all jewelry to allow more freedom of movement. You can also wear a brace to support your muscle tissues as they heal.
Getting estimates from physical therapists
Before scheduling an appointment with a physical therapist near you, be sure to:
Compare 3 quotes from different therapists to consider the full treatment costs.
Seek a therapist with a certification related to your injury, like cardiovascular health, neurology, orthopedics, geriatrics, or sports-injury treatments.
Ask your doctor for recommendations.
Read their past reviews on Thervo and Google.
Verify the physical therapist has a current state license and liability insurance.
Ask if the physical therapist accepts your health insurance.
Questions to ask
Prior to scheduling a physical therapy session, ask these questions:
How many years have you been working as a physical therapist?
Are the sessions at your office, or do you offer in-home physical therapy?
How much experience do you have in treating my specific health condition?
Will I see the same physical therapist every time I come for a session?
What should I do to prepare for my visit?
How many times a week should I have physical therapy appointments?
Will assistants work with me also, and how much time will I spend with them?
How long will each visit last?
What are the goals for my short-term and long-term physical therapy?
How soon can I expect to see results?
Do you accept my health insurance?
Will you handle the insurance claims for me?
What is your policy if I need to cancel an appointment?