Whether you were in a car accident or you got injured playing a sport, working with a physical therapist can help improve your range of motion, reduce pain, and get you back on your feet faster. If you've never gone through physical therapy before, you might not know what to expect. Here are some tips for getting prepared for your first physical therapy appointment.
If you are going to your first physical therapy appointment, try to get there at least 15 minutes early. The physical therapist will likely want you to fill out paperwork regarding your medical history, and you'll want plenty of time to do that. The sooner you complete the paperwork and get checked in, the more time you will have during your appointment.
Wear Comfortable Clothes
During your sessions, your physical therapist may ask you to do various stretches and exercises. That's why it's important to dress as comfortably as possible. For example, you may want to wear a loose T-shirt and sweatpants. If you are coming to your appointment directly from work, you can always bring a change of clothes in your bag.
Be Prepared to Answer Certain Questions
At your first physical therapy appointment, your therapist will ask you several questions to get a better understanding of your condition. For example, he or she may want to find out how you endured the injury, how long you've been experiencing symptoms, and whether or not the injury has prevented you from doing your everyday activities. The more details you provide in your answers, the better your therapist can help you.
Write Down Your Own Questions
It is likely that you have several questions of your own that you would like to ask your physical therapist. Write these questions in a notepad so that you don't forget to ask any of them. For example, you may want to ask your therapist how long it will take to recover from your injury and what he or she expects from you.
Expect Some Discomfort
To help improve flexibility and strength, your physical therapist will likely have you perform several different exercises during your appointment. Some of the movements may cause a little discomfort, but it's nothing to be alarmed about. After your session, your muscles may feel sore for a day or so.
If you follow these tips, you will get more out of your first physical therapy session.
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