What Can You Expect From Your First Physical Therapy Session?

You have an injury, you just had surgery or you have some other issue that's making it hard to move. Your doctor suggests physical therapy. Why? Physical therapists don't just help you to increase your mobility. These healthcare pros may also make it less likely that you'll need prescription pain medications or surgery. Before heading out to your first appointment, check out what you can expect from your therapy session.


Even if the physical therapist (PT) has your medical history or file, they'll still need to do an evaluation. Before making any major decisions or designing an individualized treatment plan, the PT will go over your history (this includes past and current injuries and surgeries, any health issues or illnesses and medications that you are on) as well as a physical assessment. The PT needs to know about the issue that you're seeking treatment for as well as your overall health. Along with your physical health and ability to move, the PT may also ask you questions about your home and work lives. Doing so helps the pro to better understand potential motion concerns that you may have.


Along with asking you questions, the PT may want to know what questions you have for them. This opens up the lines of communication and helps both of you feel more comfortable with the treatment that's to come. Prepare yourself and come to the appointment with a list of questions ready. This can include anything that you feel is important to know before starting therapy and may range from logistical issues (when and where will the physical therapy take place) to pain management.


Obviously the therapy is the reason that you're going to the PT. After evaluating your health, physical abilities and needs, the PT will create a plan and start treatment. The specific movements and exercises that the PT chooses for you depends on your situation. Keep in mind, the PT isn't just helping you to move—this healthcare expert is also acting as an educator. Expect to learn about your body and get a lesson in how and why the physical therapy exercises can help you. Understanding the PT's treatment plan helps you to carry on the therapy at home and make the most of what's done in your sessions.

Along with knowing what to expect from your first physical therapy session, prep yourself by bringing all of the necessary information. This means taking your insurance cards, any doctor's orders or any other paperwork that the healthcare provider may have given to you. For more information, contact a business such as Advance Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation.