What to bring:
- Your prescription for physical therapy, if you have one. Please read about our Physical Therapy without a prescription here.
- Your insurance card (most insurance plans provide coverage for physical therapy).
- Any insurance referrals or referral numbers.
What to wear:
- Loose fitting, comfortable clothes so the area causing difficulty can be evaluated and treated.
- You may want to wear or bring shorts if we are treating an ankle or knee.
What to expect on your first visit:
- Your physical therapist will review and discuss your one on one physical therapy needs including how it impacts your day-to-day life and the level of pain you feel. This will include the following:
- Your medical history
- Your current problems/complaints
- Pain intensity, what aggravates and eases the problem
- How this is impacting your daily activities or your functional limitations
- Medications, tests and procedures related to your health
- You’ll receive a comprehensive, one-hour evaluation that helps your therapist understand your current injury or issue. The assessment may include some of the following:
- Palpation – touching around the area of the pain/problem. This is done to check for the presence of things like tenderness, swelling, soft tissue integrity, tissue temperature and inflammation.
- Range of Motion (ROM) – the therapist will move the joint(s) to check for the quality of movement and any restrictions.
- Muscle Testing – the therapist may check for strength and the quality of the muscle contraction. Pain and weakness may be noted. Often the muscle strength is graded. This is also part of a neurological screening.
- Neurological Screening – the therapist may check to see how the nerves are communicating with the muscles, sensing touch, pain, vibration or temperature. Reflexes may be assessed as well.
- Special Tests – the therapist may perform special tests to confirm/rule out the presence of additional problems.
- Posture Assessment – the positions of joints relative to ideal and to each other may be assessed.
- After your evaluation, your therapist will formulate a treatment plan. The final plan will include input from you and your doctor and will include how many sessions you will need and your individual session goals.
On your next visits:
- You will see the same therapist on each visit with us and for the majority of your appointment, you will receive hands-on, manual therapy. Most visits take about 60 minutes.
- Using the plan created on your first visit, your therapist will guide you through your series of goals, including a focus on education and exercises to do at home to set you on a track for a faster recovery.
Additional questions? Visit our Physical Therapy FAQ page.