3 Things To Expect During Your First Physical Therapy Appointment
Whether you recently encountered an injury or have undergone surgery, it’s only best to enroll yourself in a couple of physical therapy sessions. These are programs intended to provide you with the best exercises which can expedite your body recovery. If it’s your first time visiting your physical therapist, you might wonder how things will go on your initial appointment.
By being informed on what to expect, you can avoid feeling uneasy, worried, and nervous. Like your other trips to the doctor’s clinic, first visits are usually the hardest, and as you regularly see them, your comfort and ease will also develop.
Get rid of your anxiety by preparing before your first physical therapy appointment to a reliable physical therapy clinic such as Vida Integrated Health and some other highly reviewed clinics near you.
Once you have already booked your schedule with your physical therapist, you may expect to have the first consultation run for about an hour or less, depending on the question-and-answer session and the therapy treatment. This part of the process is necessary before proceeding to any treatment or session. Expect your therapist to ask you a few questions about the reason behind your injuries and pain.
It’s best to anticipate these questions beforehand so you’ll be prepared to answer them. You can think about how your symptoms started and what you feel might have triggered them. You can also share with your therapist any self-medication you’ve administered before. With the help of all the information you’ve shared, your doctor can assess your case better. So, try to be honest with your answers, as they can help dictate the next step necessary.
During your appointment, your therapist might also ask what your goals are. In this manner, you and your PT can agree on the expectations and anticipated outcomes after treatment. Also, this will ensure that you both know what you would like to achieve in these sessions. Your therapist will give you advice and tips on recovering from your injury and decide the necessary treatment plan after.
- Physical Examination
You will undergo your first physical therapy examination following the question-and-answer portion. This involves performing movements in front of your PT. Additionally, expect them to measure and assess your body so they can effectively determine where any tenderness, swelling, or restricted tissues may be. They will conduct standards tests to complete the baseline assessment. As the therapist asks about your symptoms, all of this will occur.
It’s also worth noting that it’s essential to dress appropriately for this session. Be sure that your clothing does not restrict your movement since you will be asked to move your body a lot. A loose clothing or stretchy fabric can be ideal. More so, depending on the injured area, make it a point that your therapist can easily assess them through your clothing.
However, there are also cases wherein you need to change and dress into a medical gown if the therapist requests so. This allows them to check your body further. A physical assessment is a prerequisite to the first appointment for the therapist to assess your needs properly.
- Treatment Plan
The treatment plan is designed based on your PT’s subjective and objective evaluations of your case. This is when your therapist will prepare a program customized to your needs. You will have a recurring schedule for the sessions, and your therapist will discuss what needs to happen so you can recover faster. Expect your therapist to provide you with a proposal of the treatment plan and the necessary sessions. As you progress, they may modify the treatment and frequency of the sessions.
Aside from the regular clinic sessions, your treatment plan will likely include a tailored home exercise program. You might need to perform exercises with a stretching routine and body strengthening. More so, there are also poses that can help improve your posture and body structure better. Fitness and wellness goals are different for each patient, so let your PT know what you expect from each appointment.
A physical therapist will also recommend how often you should return for treatments.
The typical rehab program includes up to three visits a week. On the other hand, some programs require only one visit per week. This can be applied to you if you only have minor injuries. Moreover, your program will be customized depending on your pain level and current mobility level.
You should ask your PT which improvements you can expect over a given period once you begin a treatment plan. And always remember to set realistic goals and remain optimistic.
While it’s understandable to feel nervous and anxious, this guide may have explained why you should not be worried or fearful of your first physical therapy appointment. Physical therapy involves the collaboration between the specialist and the patient. Once you work together effectively, you can see positive results in your body recovery in no time.
To regain control over your body and your physical limitations and complications, you should work with your doctor to set achievable goals.