Acute physical therapy is that which occurs in the acute phase of healing. This is about the first 4-6 weeks with soft tissue injuries (e.g., muscles and ligaments) and 8-12 weeks with bone fractures or surgeries. This is not an absolute timetable as many variables can be present in a biological system but it's a starting point for discussion. During the the acute phase the aim of physical therapy is to reduce pain and swelling while conservatively encouraging range of motion and strengthening. Progress may be difficult to gauge across a general population but there should be progress as seen in less pain, less swelling and more movement and strength. So the general expectation is that gradual progress should be made during the acute phase unless a re-injury occurs or there is a metabolic variable present (e.g., diabetes).