The First Visit To A Physical Therapist

If you have recently been injured in an accident, your doctor may prescribe physical therapy to help with your recovery. Physical therapy is applied by a licensed therapist who is trained to treat nervous system and musculoskeletal issues.

Keep in mind that a physical therapist is not simply a technician. Instead, the medical professional must have a doctorate degree in order to become licensed. In addition, the therapist must complete an internship in a clinical environment.

Still, you may be nervous about the first visit to a physical therapist. Here is a bit of information to help you understand what to expect:

Assessing Your Condition

During your initial visit, the therapist may assess your condition to make a diagnosis. Additionally, to ensure that your condition is properly treated, the therapist may review your medical history and perform a few tests. 

Your physical health and the degree of your injury can help your provider determine the best course of treatment. In addition, it can help the therapist project the outcome of the treatment. The physical therapist may ask you questions about the location and intensity of your discomfort. Also, physical markers, such as your blood pressure, height, and weight, may be obtained. The provider may also review your posture and the way that you walk. Even your fitness level may be assessed. Your flexibility, strength, and stamina can be important factors in choosing the best treatment options. 

Treating Your Condition

Your treatment will likely begin during your first visit. However, there is no need to fear the treatment. Physical therapy is designed to be therapeutic, not painful. 

Your treatment may include various strength-building movements and stretches. In addition, your therapist may move your muscles and joints in various ways to help them heal.

In some instances, a problem may present in one area of your body but originate in another. For instance, people who suffer from a pinched nerve in the neck may experience shoulder pain or tingling in their lower arm. In such a situation, the therapist would need to treat the neck-based condition in order for the other symptoms to improve. 

Scheduling Follow-up Appointments

During your initial visit, your therapist will also schedule one or more follow-up visits. You may also be told the expected duration of your treatment. 

For more information about physical therapy and what to expect during your first visit, contact the office of a physical therapist in your local area.