It is not uncommon for people to be nervous about their first physical therapy appointment. After an injury or rapid decline in mobility, there is a fear that you will never perform at the level you did before. While the fear is entirely natural and can carry some element of truth, depending on the injury, it is vital not to assume the worst, as a physical therapist, like from AmeriWell Clinics, can explain.
Physical therapists want to help you find a path back to mobility and less or no pain. True, the finish line may not see you jumping hurdles or running marathons, but the therapist will do their best to get you as close to normalcy as possible. However, it is crucial to look at the relationship as a partnership. The therapist cannot get you through recovery alone. You need to put through maximum effort.
Therefore, as you set up your first PT session, keep an optimistic and hopeful attitude. Acknowledge that trials remain ahead but that you are on the road to recovery. To help you cope with any initial nerves, it is good to know what your first appointment may look like.
Getting Your Ducks in a Row
The initial portion of your first PT appointment will probably start with an interview. While interviews tend to increase the nerves, think of this portion of the visit as a conversation. The therapist needs to know how you hurt yourself or when the pain started. You do not need to have a precise date. Some people aren’t sure when an injury happened because the body can take weeks or months to show symptoms.
Beyond how and when questions, the therapists will also ask about symptoms. They want to understand how the injury affects mobility and your routine. They may also ask about your work and habits, which can help focus your sessions.
Knowing the history of your pain can help move the initial phase of the appointment along. Take a few minutes to answer common questions before you go to the PT’s office.
Dressing the Part
While you can go to your doctor’s office right from an office job, you do not want to show up at the physical therapist’s office in a suit or dress. Instead, wear comfortable clothing. Gym shorts and a t-shirt are acceptable. Avoid rigid fabrics. If you have any questions, call ahead and ask.
If you are nursing an injury and planning to attend physical therapy, contact a local PT’s office, and schedule an appointment. The office can help you determine any insurance requirements before a visit.