Each patient is different. The therapist will examine you and design a program to meet your specific needs. This can be based on your pain levels, range of motion, strength, and/or flexibility. Your personal goals will be taken into consideration, too.
Recent reports from physical therapists using manual therapy (mobilization and manipulation of the joint) show measurable changes right away. The therapist uses a combination of measures to know when to discharge the patient.
For example, patients are often discharged with a home program when the motion is the same on one side to the other or when the end of the motion feels 'normal'.
If no change is seen after three sessions, the therapist may send the patient home with an exercise program. Progress may be rechecked in one to three weeks. Patients may decide for themselves if the pain is completely gone and they are able to get back to their daily activities.