A: You will be asked to arrive 20 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment to fill out a series of questionnaires that will give your physical therapist background information about the problem you are seeking help with, your life-style and other health-related issues. You will also be expected to complete paperwork for our business office so that we know you have familiarized yourself with our basic operational and billing procedures.
The physical therapist will look over your paperwork, but will want to also hear “in your own words” what brings you in for treatment. Depending on your issue, this may be brief or take the entire hour we have scheduled for your first appointment. Our goal is to provide you with some form of treatment during the first appointment, but at times, for complex conditions, getting a detailed history can be invaluable in the treatment process.
The treatment rooms are private and the physical therapist will often have you change into shorts and tank top or sports bra. The therapist will conduct a physical evaluation typically including gait assessment, range of motion, strength, coordination and balance. The physical therapist will use manual palpation skills (gently applied hand / finger pressure) to assess areas of movement restriction, pain, swelling, and numbness. Other forms or evaluation may also be indicated for a specific problem. The physical therapist will explain all methods prior to performing. The therapist will discuss their findings with you and typically provide some type of treatment involving education, may perform “hands-on” treatment or provide some type of exercise intervention.