Tips to Prepare for Your Physical Therapy Visit

By Matt Longman | 08/08/2016

If you have been injured recently, there is a good chance that you may need to visit a physical therapist. A physical therapist (or PT) is a certified health professional who helps patients improve their mobility, strength, and pain management. Your physical therapist will work with your physician to create a customized recovery and home exercise plan to speed healing and prevent your injury from reoccurring.

Before your first visit, there are some things you should know.

1. Wear the right clothing:

Dress in comfortable clothes. Wear tennis shoes and clothes that allow for active movement. Sweatpants, shorts, and t-shirts are all good garments for physical therapy. 

2. What to bring:

Referring physician information, insurance information, physical therapy or occupational therapy prescription. 

3. Patient Registration forms:

Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to allow time to complete your new patient registration forms.

4. Review of problem:

Make sure that you know some key points about your injury. How and when did it happen? How has your condition or functional mobility changed? Does it look like there is improvement in the problem area? Are you currently taking medication? 

Once you are ready, it will be time for your first visit. You will meet with a Physical or Occupational therapist who will perform a complete evaluation of your injury. After the evaluation, your therapist will develop an individualized treatment plan. The treatment plan and frequency of visits will be based on your referral and the results of the evaluation.

Many times, your physical therapist will begin treatment from the first appointment. They will take measurements of your strength, flexibility, balance, and more. After they determine your level of mobility, they will a combination of: stretches, electrical stimulation, and physical manipulation to improve your functional mobility.
It’s important that you follow the treatment plan provided and show up to subsequent appointments. This is the best way to keep your recovery on track and gain back full mobility.