How Much Does Physical Therapy Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

Physical therapy is a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialty that promotes mobility, function, diagnosis, prognosis and physical intervention, and it’s often recommended if you’re feeling a nagging pain or some stiffness in your joints.  Whatever the problem may be, a physical therapist will be able to treat these muscle and joint problems with a detailed exercise regime.

PT 002 by roger_mommaerts, on Flickr
PT 002” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by roger_mommaerts

How much does physical therapy cost?

The cost of physical therapy depends on the number of sessions needed, the physical therapist, the type of session, insurance and the geographical location.  On average, a session, after the initial consult has been completed, can range anywhere from $60 to as much as $250 without insurance, but most insurance plans will cover physical therapy as long as it is deemed medically necessary.  If covered, you will be responsible for your co-pays/deductibles.  Most people who are insured reported paying $10 to $85 after their insurance kicked in. says the costs will depend on the services you receive, the type of therapy required and which treatments are allowed under your insurance policy.  The average Medicare allowable for services, for instance, is $26 to $30 per weighted procedure, bringing the total cost to around $100.

As for the grand total, it will be hard to say how many sessions you will need since every situation will be unique in its own way.  WebMD, for instance, interviewed a physical therapist and they said six to 12 sessions commonly treat most ailments.  With this number, you could plan on spending a total $360 to more than $3,000 without insurance.

Benchmark Physical Therapy, a popular physical therapy chain, for example, charges about $150 per average session, according to some visitors to their Facebook page.

Since there are so many services offered within a physical therapist office, the costs can vary.  We did some research and were able to find out what some popular services cost.  The prices mentioned below are for those who don’t have insurance.

Type of TrainingAverage Price WITHOUT insurance
Biofeedback Training$100 to $200
Cognitive$100 to $150 per 15 minutes
Electrical Stimulation$125 to $225 per 15 minutes
Ergonomic Study$200 to $300
Gait Training$100 to $175 per 15 minutes
Iontophoresis$100 to $175 per 15 minutes
Manual Technique$125 to $175 per 15 minutes
Massage$75 to $135 per 15 minutes
Physical Therapy Evaluation$150 to $400, depending on severity of issue
PT & Reconstructive$100 to $150 per hour (unsupervised will be 30% less)
Whirlpool$100 to $200

Physical therapy overview

The first session will usually last 45 to 60 minutes and will be referred to as the assessment.  During this assessment, the physical therapist will perform an exam and create a list of the problems you have. During this detailed exam, a strength test will be performed to determine which muscles are working at a normal capacity and a range of motion test will be performed as well to see which muscles are able to move naturally. With this report, he or she will then be able to create a treatment plan that you will be able to follow every time you come into the facility.

After the assessment, the frequency of your sessions will depend on the patient and the problem being treated.

What are the extra costs?

Before you can even start sessions, an initial consultation, as stated above, is necessary to find out what the best treatment plan will be.  During this consult, the physical therapist will be able to identify what needs to be done in order to treat the specific ailment.  This initial consult can cost up to $175.

Tips to know

Some evidence, according to WebMD, says physical therapy can be more effective than back pain surgery; however, bypassing the surgery altogether doesn’t mean you will see a cure.

Health insurance can be very complex when it comes down to physical therapy sessions, so before you start your sessions, make sure you have everything in line with your insurer.  For example, if your therapist doesn’t think these sessions are necessary for a certain health condition, then there’s a good chance the insurance company won’t cover it.  Also, some insurance companies won’t cover if you don’t work with a professional inside their network.

How can I save money?

Before using your health insurance plan, refer to the fine print for more information.  What you may find out is that some policies will require a referral before they accept your claim or may limit the number of sessions you can go to.  Private insurance plans, Medicare, Medicaid, Worker’s Compensation and even automotive liability insurance will cover physical therapy appointments.

Some physical therapists may offer discounts for those who purchase their sessions in bulk.  For example, if you were to buy five or 10 sessions at once, then you could save up to 20 percent or more.  Commonly, these discounts are available for those who don’t have insurance.

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