Your first session of physical therapy is called an evaluation. During the evaluation, which is typically a 45 to 60 minute session, you and your PT will review your medical history as it relates to your musculoskeletal problem(s) and perform objective testing to help diagnose your injury and determine the future course of treatment.
Prior to your appointment, you will want to prepare yourself for some standard questions:
Where does it hurt?
What makes it better?
What makes it worse?
When and how did your problem begin?
Your PT will also want to get a good idea about your general health. They'll perform a screening of your main body systems (i.e. musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and integumentary) to gauge how interrelated your symptoms may be. This often includes taking your blood pressure, your weight, and your height.
Any treatment stemming from your physical therapy evaluation needs to be scientifically crafted and implemented. They'll consider your range of motion, strength, joint mobility, flexibility, posture, and movement patterns. By assessing your gait, a PT may be able to diagnose movement compensation patterns and find further clues as to what is driving your problem. From there, your PT can piece together how this may or may not impact your specific injury. With baseline measurements of your current status, your PT will be able to specifically compare improvements made in future sessions.
After your evaluation, your PT will have a pretty clear idea of a treatment plan to start working on decreasing your pain and improving your mobility. Your physical therapist should discuss with you the goals of treatment and the expected course of your rehab. Your PT will be your best resource moving forward!
Schedule your evaluation at one of our clinics today!