How to Prepare for Physical Therapy

How to Prepare for Physical Therapy

September 1, 2021

Physical therapy is an integral part of many recovery programs. Patients often undergo physical therapy to recover from athletic injuries or chronic issues with their shoulders, legs, or neck and back.

Properly preparing for your visit with a physical therapist is crucial for getting off to a good start and making the most of the recovery process. However, if you’ve never undergone physical therapy before, knowing what to do before showing up for your first appointment may be challenging.

Here are seven tips to help you in preparing for your visit with a physical therapist.

Make a list of symptoms.

The logical place to start in preparing for your visit with a physical therapist is to write down a list of the symptoms which led you to physical therapy in the first place. Are you experiencing soreness in your joints or muscles? Has it recently gotten harder to move your neck and back?

Don’t leave anything out. Your therapist will need to know about any chronic aches or trouble spots to create an effective plan for your recovery.

List all current medications.

Another essential piece of information for your physical therapist to know is any medications you are currently taking. Make sure to list all prescription medications as well as any over-the-counter drugs or vitamins you take regularly.

Different medications interact differently, and your therapist may need to tailor your treatment plan depending on which medicines you use.

Write down questions beforehand.

During the initial meeting with your physical therapist, it is easy to get overwhelmed with information and to forget to ask any questions you thought of ahead of time. An easy fix for this problem is to write down all of your questions before you go to your appointment. 

When your therapist asks if you have any questions, you don’t have to worry about going blank if you’ve brought a list with you.

Jot down your medical history

Your physical therapist will likely spend a portion of your first session becoming familiar with your medical past. The easiest way to prepare for this portion of your appointment is to write out a brief overview of your relevant medical history. 

Consult with a spouse, parent, or other family members to help you recall any medical treatments or issues you may have forgotten. Providing your therapist with a thorough medical history will help them create an effective recovery plan specifically tailored for you.

Bring any relevant documentation.

Make sure to bring any relevant test results, x-rays, and other medical documentation that may have a bearing on your therapy. Your physical therapist needs to have access to all the facts before designing the appropriate recovery program.

Be prepared to take notes.

Your first session with a physical therapist will probably handle a lot of information. It will be challenging to remember all the details after the session is over. Be prepared to take notes, either with a pen and paper or on your phone. 

Wear appropriate clothing.

Physical therapy often involves lots of stretching, exercise, and professional physical therapy equipment. Your therapist may want you to begin your program during the first session. Wear comfortable, stretchy clothes and non-slip shoes. Dress like when you go to the gym.

Ready to Begin? Visit Mid-County Physical Therapy Today!

Don’t have a physical therapist yet? No problem! Preparing for your visit with a physical therapist will help ensure that your therapy program will be as effective as possible.

Stop by Mid-County Physical Therapy, and we’ll set you up with a member of our expert staff so you can start feeling healthier and happier in no time at all. Schedule an appointment today.

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