What Will Happen During My Physical Therapy Session?
You’ve taken the first step and made a great choice in securing your physical therapy session! Physical therapy is a great way to regain normal mobility and can even be used as preventative treatment (maintaining good movement, flexibility).
Now you are wondering what will go on during your first session. Keep in mind that depending on what you come in for, the treatment will be tailored just for you. So, for example, if you’ve come in for physical therapy because you injured your leg playing soccer or hockey (torn acl, ankle sprain, etc) then a lot of the therapy will be centered around your leg. In every case, a physical examination will be conducted first so that the therapist can customize a plan just for you. He/she may test your range of motion, flexibility, strength, balance, palpation, posture.
If you’ve recently been in a car accident that has left with whiplash and/or pain with moving your head, a physical therapy session will likely entail the therapist guiding you through exercises that help heal your injury and increase range of motion (such as neck stretches and strengthening exercises). He or she may also perform massage to relieve tension or apply ice/heat.
Physical therapy is not a magic bullet– you will have to go to multiple sessions and the therapist will monitor your improvement through time and will advise you on whether you need to continue therapy or not.
What Should I Do to Prepare for My Physical Therapy Visit?
Make sure you wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. As for shoes, sneakers or athletic shoes are ideal. While physical therapy is not meant to hurt you or be painful, there may be times where you may feel discomfort or feel challenged depending on what body part you are using and your particular injury or condition.