What to Expect on a Typical Physical Therapy Appointment

Physical therapy in West New York is crucial for rehabilitation, especially for patients suffering from chronic conditions likely to affect mobility. Though the treatment consists of workouts and stretches tailored to enhance joint and soft tissue mobility, your first appointment might only focus on physical evaluation. Your physical therapist will use your initial appointment to lay the foundation for your treatment. 

How should you prepare for a physical therapy appointment?

On your first appointment, your therapist will advise you to wear loosely-fitting clothing that won’t inhibit your movements. Therefore clothes like shorts, sweats, and gym wear might be most comfortable and easy to move in. However, if you are walking into your session straight from work, the medical expert may provide you with shorts. Shorts might be preferred, especially if you have ankle or knee joint concerns that your doctor must evaluate. 

What should you expect from your initial physical therapy appointment?

Once your appointment begins, you might spend at least an hour with the medical professional for evaluation and treatment. At the beginning of your evaluation, your therapist will ask you about your reasons for the treatment. The assessment will help the healthcare provider know:

  •         The onset of your symptoms and possible causes
  •         Factors likely to minimize or increase your symptoms
  •         Past treatments you have tried to resolve the issue
  •         Any feedback from imaging tests (if any)

Before any recommendations, your therapist will ask you about your desired goals for the treatment to ensure the two of you have clear objectives on what to expect from your initial appointment and future engagements. The information may also help inform what to accomplish during the treatment.

What happens during a physical examination?

You should expect a thorough evaluation of your physical condition. For starters, your physical therapist (PT) will take various measurements, including your weight and pressure levels, before examining areas of your body to check for possible swelling, tenderness, and tissue restrictions. After the tests, the medical professional may recommend customized tests to formulate your assessment and ask questions about your symptoms. When the PT is through with the review, they may suggest a few movements which you will go through to evaluate your ability.

How will your therapist devise a treatment plan?

Once your PT completes the evaluation, they may recommend treatment options. The plan may include teaching you patient-centered home exercises to suit your unique needs. Starting physical therapy is a personal thing and everyone has specific reasons why they need the therapy. Since wellness goals differ, feel free to share your desired treatment goals and what you expect from the session with your therapist. The specific course of action the healthcare professional might recommend includes postural correction, strengthening, and stretching exercises; all of which you may try at home.       

Returning to your everyday level of function is vital, especially if you suffered an illness in the past that distorted your functional mobility. Your first appointment with your therapist will help the professional evaluate your current situation, past level of function, and how the problem affects your life. Schedule a physical therapy appointment with your doctor to know how to restore proper function to your body.

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