What to Expect at a Physical Therapy Session
If you’re new to physical therapy, you may be curious about what to expect from your first physical therapy session. First, there is nothing to worry about: you’ll be in the hands of a caring and dedicated professional, who will focus on helping you feel better fast. Your physical therapist has the advanced education and training to pinpoint the cause of your pain or lack of mobility, and will soon have you back on the road to optimum health.
Your physical therapy appointment will be even more successful when you’re prepared, so read on to discover what you can expect from a physical therapy session. From what to wear and bring with you, to the examination itself, we’ll give you a preview of a typical physical therapy session.
Before Your Physical Therapy Appointment
In the days leading up to your first physical therapy session, start preparing by taking some notes and making lists.
- Jot down any questions that come to mind about your treatment. It’s easy to forget your questions once your session begins. Having a list will ensure all your questions are answered.
- Make notes about your symptoms, including when you first noticed them.
- Pay attention to how your problem areas react to certain activities. For example, do you feel better or worse when standing or sitting? Does it hurt more during specific activities, in certain positions, or at different times of day? Does rest make you feel better? Add these observations to your notes.
- Write down your medical history, including medical conditions of your parents or siblings. Make a list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you’re taking, as well as any drug allergies.
- Describe any injuries, accidents or environmental factors that may have caused or are contributing to your condition. Have you twisted your knee, or hurt your back? Did you fall recently, or have you been working longer hours?
- Make a note of personal information and recent events, such as stressful experiences or health issues.
- Think about your goals for physical therapy. Do you want to be pain-free again? Would you like to perform daily activities without discomfort? Would you like to return to your favorite sports or hobbies?
Having this information will help your physical therapist evaluate your condition and plan the most effective treatment.
What Should I Bring to Physical Therapy?
The more information you provide, the more successful your physical therapy session will be. Bring with you the following:
- Your physician-provided prescription for physical therapy services.
- Any diagnostic findings, such as an MRI or X-ray report.
- Your insurance card and photo identification.
- The lists of questions, symptoms, medical history and personal information you’ve prepared.
- Your eyeglasses and hearing aids, if you use them.
In addition, you may wish to bring along a trusted friend or family member who can help you with questions or take notes, so you can focus on your visit.
What Should I Wear to a Physical Therapy Appointment?
Dress comfortably and choose clothing that won’t restrict your movement. Wear athletic or other supportive shoes, and clothing that allows for access to the affected area. If your discomfort is affecting your neck, shoulder, or upper back, a gown will be provided for you. For lower back, hip, knee, or leg injuries, you should bring or wear shorts. You’ll be able to change into appropriate clothes at the clinic.
What Can I Expect at My Physical Therapy Session?
Your first physical therapy session will typically consist of an assessment of your condition, a physical examination, diagnostic testing, and a discussion of your goals. You can expect your physical therapist to ask you questions about your medical history, as well as your current condition and symptoms. He or she may inquire about your general health and well-being, including your exercise and stress levels.
Next, you’ll undergo an examination to evaluate your strength, flexibility, balance, coordination and posture. Your physical therapist will examine your affected area, and the mobility of your joints and muscles. To further evaluate your condition, you may be asked to walk, get up from a chair, bend, or lift objects. Your physical therapist will use this detailed information to pinpoint the source of your condition.
Finally, your physical therapist will discuss your goals and develop your physical therapy treatment plan. Together, you will work to alleviate your pain, and to help you return to normal activities and recreational pursuits as quickly as possible.
How Long Will My First Session Last?
Your first physical therapy session will last approximately one hour. Plan to arrive at least 10 minutes early to complete the necessary paperwork. Subsequent visits typically last from 45 to 60 minutes, depending on your diagnosis and your individual plan. The total number of visits required for your treatment will be determined by your physical therapist, with your cooperation, as well as by your physician’s prescription.
The Sports and Physical Therapy Center Will Put You at Ease
Physical therapy can help you feel your best and enjoy a better quality of life, no matter where your body hurts. Prior to your first appointment in Missouri, you’ll need a physical therapy prescription from your physician – but you have the right to visit the physical therapy clinic of your choice. If you’re a St. Louis County resident, you’ll find the physical therapists at the Sports and Physical Therapy Center to be completely professional, capable, and caring. Ask friends and family for recommendations, and you’ll likely hear excellent reviews about owner Sean Quinn and his staff of licensed physical therapists in Eureka.
The entire team at the Sports and Physical Therapy Center is focused on each patient’s total health and well-being. They specialize in treating a variety of conditions resulting from accidents, work-related incidents, sports injuries and post-surgical treatment. They will also educate you about the cause of your condition, proper form, and movement, to help you avoid future problems. Your physical therapist will make you feel completely at ease, totally comfortable, and in control of your own health.
If you’re seeking a physical therapy center in Eureka, Missouri, look into the Sports and Physical Therapy Center, serving St. Louis County residents with a full range of physical therapy services since 2004.
Expect the Highest Level of Care at the Sports and Physical Therapy Center
Whether you’re new to physical therapy or have sought treatment in the past, it’s always helpful to know what you can expect from your physical therapy session. At the Sports and Physical Therapy Center, you will receive top-quality care from qualified physical therapists. You can expect to be treated like the individual you are, and you can expect to experience the results you’re looking for.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an evaluation, feel free to contact the Sports and Physical Therapy Center at 636-938-4065. For complete information about Sean, his staff and the wide range of services they provide, visit http://www.ptstl.com.