So your doctor suggested that you see a physical therapist. If this is your first physical therapy appointment, it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. You’re not sure what’s going to happen, how long you’ll be in treatment, or if it’s even going to work. But we’re here to put all of those worries to rest, and explain exactly what to expect from physical therapy.
Here’s what you need to know for your first physical therapy appointment.
What to Wear
Be sure to wear comfortable clothing to all of your physical therapy appointments. A lot of physical therapy involves doing exercises to stretch or strengthen the muscles in your body, so it’s important to wear clothes you feel comfortable moving around in.
Just like any medical appointment you go to, you’ll have to fill out some forms. We suggest arriving a few minutes early to your first appointment to give yourself some time to do this so you’re not wasting any of your appointment time. Be sure to bring your physical therapy prescription if you have one, your insurance card, and any other diagnostic materials you may have (e.g. x-rays, MRI results).
Similar to most medical appointments, the beginning of your first physical therapy appointment will have a short interview session where your therapist will ask you questions about your symptoms and condition. They will want to get a good understanding of what kind of pain and symptoms you’re experiencing so that they can design an effective treatment process. Be prepared to answer questions like, “How long have you been experiencing symptoms?” and “How did you hurt your _________?”
After the interview is over, your therapist will proceed to evaluate your condition with a physical examination. Depending on your symptoms they might have you do a variety of exercises to gage your strength, flexibility, range of motion, and posture to find where problems may lie.
Once your therapist feels that they understand your symptoms and condition, they will begin treating you. This could be through a series of exercises, some hands-on therapies, a variety of modalities, or whatever you therapist feels will help remedy your condition.
That wasn’t so scary, was it? Throughout the process of your first physical therapy appointment, feel free to ask questions at any time. If physical therapy is a new concept to you, your therapist will be happy to explain what or why they are doing something.
If you’re in need of physical therapy, you’ve come to the right place. Contact us today and let us help you live your best and most comfortable life.