What to Expect at Physical Therapy
At your first physical therapy appointment you will be asked to fill out paperwork that includes a medical questionnaire, in which you will provide your therapist with information regarding your health history, a description of your injury or condition and previous injuries or surgeries. The therapist will ask you additional questions about your condition and how it may interfere with your ability to perform normal daily activities or participate in your chosen sport or recreational activity. The therapist will then complete a physical evaluation in which he or she will test your strength, flexibility, swelling, and if appropriate, assess your posture and gait. The therapist will explain the findings from this exam and then outline the treatment process and what outcome you may expect. When the initial evaluation process is completed, you will be instructed in an exercise program, then receive modalities and manual therapy.
How patients feel during and after treatment varies a lot depending on the individual. Many patients feel better after their first visit due to improvements in flexibility and reduction in pain and swelling. However, it is not uncommon to have some pain or soreness resulting from your exercise routine, because it may be challenging some muscles that haven’t been challenged in a while. This should decrease fairly quickly. In addition, some of the stretching and mobilization that your therapist may do can be uncomfortable, particularly if you are inflexible or have had a surgery, but again should resolve quickly. Your response to therapy will be closely monitored by your therapist.
At SMTC, a typical appointment will generally last 90 minutes, although some appointments are longer for complex or multiple diagnoses. The duration of an individual’s treatment again varies a lot, but averages 6-8 weeks. At the time of discharge, you will be instructed in an independent program that you can perform at home or at a gym.
If you have any questions, simply contact us and we'll be happy to provide you with any information you need!
What to Bring to Your First Appointment
- Physical therapy referral from doctor
- Any other physician notes, X-Rays, or MRI reports you would like us to review
- Insurance Card
- Photo ID
- Wear or bring comfortable clothing