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What To Expect At Your First Physical Therapy Appointment

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If you are suffering with some type of pain that will not go away, your doctor might suggest attending physical therapy. Physical therapy is a service designed to help people decrease their pain level and improve their mobility and range of motion. The most important thing you should know about physical therapy is that the results do not happen overnight. It takes time and work to get these results, and here are a few things you should expect at your first visit to a physical therapy clinic.

Answering Survey Questions

When you initially arrive for your first appointment, there will be a lot of preliminary things you and the therapist must do before the therapy actually begins. The first step will be filling out paperwork. You will have to fill out general paperwork as well as surveys. The surveys will ask you a lot of questions about your pain, such as:

  • Where do you feel pain?
  • How severe is the pain?
  • When did the pain start?
  • Was it a result of something you did?
  • Is it related to your work?
  • Is the pain stopping you from doing things you could do before?
  • Does the pain fluctuate?

The answers to these questions help the therapist gain an understanding of your situation, but the therapist will ask you a lot of other questions.

Hands-On Pain Questions

After the therapist reviews your paperwork and surveys, he or she will call you back to a room to continue with the evaluation. This part of the evaluation is a hands-on evaluation. As the therapist looks at the paperwork you filled out, he or she will ask you additional questions. As this is done, the therapist may have you move in certain ways to determine how these positions affect you.

For example, if you have neck pain, the therapist may ask you to turn your head to the right until you feel pain. You will have to hold this position until the therapist tells you to slowly move your head back to its original position. Once you complete this, the therapist will ask you questions about how it felt. The goal of this is to target the root problem that is causing the pain. No matter what type of injury you have, there is a root cause. Physical therapists try to target the root cause because this is where they will begin offering treatment. If they can relieve this problem, you are likely to feel less pain and see an increase in your mobility.

Teach You Exercises

The third thing that will occur during your first visit is light exercises. The therapist will not ask you to do any exercises until he or she has a good idea of what the problem is. The procedures used in physical therapy are trial and error, and this is because everyone is different. Every situation is unique in certain ways, and this means that your diagnosis and plan will be different from all others.

As the therapist begins to understand the problems you have, he or she will teach you exercises and will ask you to do these at home. The therapy you get while you are there will be more beneficial to you if you follow through with the at-home exercises.

Little by little, your pain should begin decreasing, but this will probably take multiple visits to a physical therapist. The number of visits you need will depend on how severe your condition is and on how much work you put into it at home.

If you are tired of living in pain and want to find help that really works for relieving the pain, schedule a visit with a physical therapist at a location like Burgman Chiropractic Clinic PC today.