Before Your Visit
Take any lab, imaging, or reports from other health care providers with you that are related to your medical history or current condition.
Bring a list of your doctors and other health care providers. Your physical therapist can discuss their findings and your progress with them. Physical therapists partner with other health care providers to ensure you get the best possible care.
When you make your appointment, ask whether you should wear or bring a certain type of clothing for your first visit. Don’t wear clothing that doesn’t stretch. Your physical therapist may have you take part in treatment activities during your first session.
Carefully review the clinic's financial policy. If you do not receive it at your first appointment, ask for a copy. If anything is unclear, ask questions or ask for someone to explain the policy to you before starting treatment.
The physical therapy clinic will ask you to sign the financial agreement. Read it carefully and ask questions if anything is unclear.
The clinic staff will request payment of any deductibles and copayments before or after each visit. Paying these at the time of service will help you better manage health care costs and avoid a large bill after treatment ends.
If you need to change how often you have physical therapy for financial reasons, discuss this with your physical therapist. They can explore options and develop a workable plan to help you get the care you need.
If you change or lose your insurance coverage, be sure to inform your physical therapist and the clinic's front office staff.
What To Expect During Your First Visit
Your physical therapist will begin by asking you lots of questions about your health. These will include specific questions about your condition and any symptoms that led you to see them. The details you give will help your physical therapist assess whether you are likely to benefit from physical therapy. It also will help them choose the treatments that are most likely to help you.
Your physical therapist also will ask you specific questions about your home or work setting, your health habits and activity level, and your leisure and sports interests. Their goal is to help you become as active and independent as possible and return to the activities you enjoy.
Your physical therapist will perform a detailed exam. Depending on your symptoms and condition, your physical therapist may evaluate your:
Your physical therapist may use their hands to examine or feel on or around the area of concern. They also will assess the motion and function of your joints, muscles, and other tissues.
Your physical therapist also may check:
A main goal of treatment is to improve or maintain your ability to do daily tasks and activities. Your physical therapist may address pain, swelling, weakness, and limited motion to help you reach this goal. They will check your response to each treatment and make changes as often as needed. Physical therapy treatment also may speed your recovery.
Education is an important aspect of your physical therapy treatment. Your physical therapist may teach you special exercises to do at home. They also may show you different ways to do your work and home activities. The goal is to lessen or get rid of the problem believed to be the reason for your pain, strain, or injury and show you ways to stay healthy.
Your physical therapist will assess your need for special equipment. For example, they may suggest special footwear, splints, or crutches. They also may advise that you use special devices to help make your home a safer place for you, especially if they find that you are at an increased risk of falling. They will determine what equipment you need based on your situation. They may either provide it for you or tell you where you can find it. If you do need special equipment, your physical therapist can show you how to use it properly.
Your physical therapist will share important information with your doctor and other health care providers at your request.
Your physical therapist will recheck your progress often throughout your plan of care. They will work with you to plan for your discharge from physical therapy when you are ready. Make sure to talk with your physical therapist about what to do if you have questions after discharge or if your symptoms or condition worsens.
Your physical therapy visit may include working with a physical therapist assistant on exercises prescribed by your physical therapist. Physical therapists and PTAs work together and with other health care providers to make sure you get the care you need.
Get the Most Out of Physical Therapy
You will get out of your physical therapy sessions what you put into them. It will take a certain amount of effort on your part, as agreed between you and your physical therapist, to get the most benefit from each session. Here are four tips to help you get the most out of physical therapy:
Your physical therapist also may determine that you might benefit from seeing another specialist or health care provider. They may recommend doing so in addition to having physical therapy or before starting physical therapy treatment.
Some physical therapists also provide annual visits to promote health and wellness. They may ask you to return for a follow-up or yearly visit.
You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation.
The following is a condensed article from ChoosePT and can be fount at Preparing for Your Visit | Choose PT
The therapists at SRVPT have a variety of backgrounds and are interested in sharing our knowledge with you! Check out their bios for more specific information.