How to Prepare for Outpatient Physical Therapy
If you’ve experienced a health event like an injury or a stroke, you will likely see a physical therapist for help throughout your recovery. You may not know what to expect from your physical therapy sessions or even how to prepare. Follow these suggestions to be ready for your first physical therapy appointment.
Wear Comfortable, Loose-Fitting Clothes
For physical therapy, you’ll wear clothes and shoes similar to anything you’d wear to the gym. You physical therapist needs to be able to help you move through a full range of motion, not restricted by clothing. While you may not be working up a sweat during physical therapy, you still need to be able to feel comfortable to get the most out of your therapy.
Relax – It’s Not a Test
At your first appointment, you’ll go through a personalized evaluation, but it’s important to remember that it isn’t a test. Your physical therapist just needs to see where you are so they can design the best plan for your needs. The evaluation includes simple exercises that your physical therapist uses to test your balance, flexibility, strength and range of motion. Exercises may be as easy as walking down a hallway, lifting objects or sitting up from a lying down position.
Don’t stress out and push yourself too hard during your evaluation. The point of physical therapy is to safely, gradually restore movement and function.
Be Prepared to Work
You get out of physical therapy what you put into it. Your therapist will likely give you exercises to complete at home. It is important you perform these exercises exactly as your therapist instructs so that you continue to make good progress in-between physical therapy sessions.
Know Your Goals
Before coming to physical therapy, have a few goals in mind for your treatment. By sharing these goals with your therapist, you can ensure that you are receiving the treatments that will help you get back to activities you love.
Bring a Support Person
Your support person can help you answer questions about your medical history and injury. They can also take notes throughout your therapy so you don’t forget any important information. You may also need a partner to perform exercises with at home. Your support person can learn how to perform the at-home exercises from your therapist so they are ready to help you in-between sessions.
Bon Secours In Motion physical therapists provide caring support for patients in recovery and rehabilitation. We deliver personalized care and attention, using advanced treatment techniques such as aquatic therapy and specialized stroke rehabilitation services.
Learn more about our physical therapy services.