What to Expect in Your First Physical Therapy Visit

The common use of certain physical therapy techniques goes back to the twentieth century, during World War I. Back then, physical therapists were trained to work with soldiers who were returning from war. In present day, physical therapists often help people who suffer from musculoskeletal problems, looking to reduce pain and regain function. Physical therapists also provide assistance for patients who may be recovering from a stroke, and need to learn how to use their limbs and walk again. Physical therapy is also commonly utilized as part of the recovery process after many types of surgery, helping strengthen the body and reduce the buildup of scar tissue.

As experts in the way the body moves, physical therapists are healthcare professionals who offer effective treatment to improve or restore mobility and relieve chronic pain, reduce the need for surgery and prescription drugs, allowing patients to participate in a recovery plan designed for their specific needs.  A customized physical therapy program can help individuals return to their prior level of functioning, and encourage activities and lifestyle changes that can help prevent further injury and improve overall health and well-being.

During your first physical therapy appointment, your therapist will evaluate you and then provide you the necessary treatment. Your PT will advise you on how to perform exercises both in office or at home, and how to best manage your symptoms that you experience. Patients are typically involved in an active exercise program at home and are educated in ways to speed recovery and prevent recurrence of the problem.

Depending on your injuries and the evaluation, treatment may consist of a variety of exercise techniques and pain reducing modalities, such as ice, heat, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation, such as a TENS unit. Treatments in physical therapy, are designed to increase motion and strength, reduce pain, and most importantly, restore function.

Your physical therapist during your first visit will ask a lot of questions about your health, and can give you a detailed outline of your condition and what would best suit you for treatment. Most importantly, before your visit, jot down questions to ask your therapist, and remember that they are there to guide you along the way to achieve your goals.

To learn more about physical therapy and how to prepare for your first visit, call Tucson Orthopaedic Institute at (520) 784-6200, to request an appointment, or you can call or use our secure online appointment request form.