What to Expect During Your First Physical Therapy Appointment
The first physical therapy appointment that you attend will be an initial evaluation. The therapist will have a conversation with you in which they inquire about the symptoms that you are having or have had, the start of those symptoms, and how you feel, in general. If you have recently had surgery or another procedure performed, the therapist will inquire about your recovery and/or progress. The physical therapist will get to know you, begin to understand what it is that you are dealing with, and then will determine your personal goals for attending physical therapy.
You will want to dress appropriately by wearing clothes that do not restrict your movements. For example, if you are having issues with a knee, you should wear clothing that will allow the physical therapist to evaluate your knee. If you are having issues with your back, you may be asked to change into a medical gown so that the PT may properly evaluate your trouble area. A physical evaluation is a necessary component of the first appointment because it allows the therapist to properly determine your needs.
After your evaluation, your treatment will begin the same day based on your specific needs. Treatment usually consists of some exercise, manual therapy (massage, myofascial release, mobilizations, manipulations) and modalities (ice, heat, ultrasound, etc.). The typical session will take approximately one hour. On your first day, plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment time to complete paperwork. You can also download this paperwork from our website, complete it and bring it with you. Please bring your insurance card, picture ID and orders from your doctor unless you are Direct Access.