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What to Expect During Your First Physical Therapy Appointment

by Dr Prem Community Writer
First Physical Therapy Appointment

Whether you’ve suffered from an injury, undergone surgery, or are simply trying to reach your fitness goals, physical therapy is a great way to get the situation assessed to receive treatment or a prescription for an exercise routine that can help ease or eliminate pain and allow you to return to optimal functioning.

Physical therapy may also be an excellent alternative to having surgery in the first place, yet people often don’t utilize this option, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Not having to go under the knife would probably be preferable to most, but if you’ve never been to a physical therapist before, you may be wondering what to expect. Before booking that appointment for physical therapy in Dickson City, PA, or anywhere else, this can help you understand what it will likely involve.

An Initial Evaluation

personalized treatment planThe first physical therapy session is typically referred to as the initial evaluation. During this time, you’ll get to know your physical therapist, and he or she will take time to learn more about your condition and previous level of function, and how the current issues you’re experiencing are affecting your life. The PT will then take measure of impairments that may be causing your problems, analyze the situation, and put together a personalized treatment plan.

It’s important to prepare for that initial appointment so that you can make the most out of the physical therapy. Take note of the history behind your condition, such as when and how it began, what your functioning was like before, how often and how severe symptoms are, and what makes them better or worse. You should also bring a list of any medications that you’re currently taking and be able to inform your PT as to any surgeries or other procedures you’ve had in the past.

You’ll Likely Need to Move Around A Lot

During that first session, the physical therapist will be assessing your ability to move, so you’ll want to wear loose-fitting clothing that allows for easy movement. For example, if you’re experiencing knee or hip pain, wear shorts. For shoulder pain, you’ll want a shirt that allows for easy access to your arm and shoulder. If you aren’t sure, call the clinic and ask what you should wear to the appointment.

The Treatment Plan

therapy sessionAfter being examined by the therapist, they will discuss your treatment goals and the expected course of rehabilitation or exercises to help you achieve your goal(s). You may begin treatment right after the evaluation, perhaps using methods like electrical stimulation or ultrasound that help improve muscle functioning and manage pain. Exercises are almost always the staple of a PT program, so your therapist will likely prescribe a list for you to do at home. They will make recommendations about how often you should return for treatments, whether once, twice, or three times a week. Your particular program will depend on multiple factors, such as your current level of mobility and pain.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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