When you start a physical therapy treatment plan, you may be wondering what to expect. Your physical therapist will begin with an initial evaluation, during which they will ask you about your condition, symptoms, and how it is affecting your lifestyle. They will then take some measurements such as range of motion, strength, mobility, and balance to determine the best approach to treat you. After developing a treatment program with you, the physical therapist will likely include a variety of activities in the office and at home.
These activities may include manual therapy, techniques to control pain, and exercises for you to do at home. It is important to wear comfortable clothing that allows the physical therapist to access the affected part of the body. Additionally, be sure to tell your physical therapist about any medications you are taking and what you hope to achieve during physical therapy. Your physical therapist will teach you the right form of exercise so that you don't accidentally injure yourself in the office or at home. When starting a treatment plan, ask your physical therapist what improvements you can expect to achieve over a certain period of time.
The therapist can knead and massage soft tissue to relieve pain and promote blood flow. They can also move joints and muscles through various stretches to increase range of motion and flexibility. Ultimately, it will be determined on a case-by-case basis after evaluating your needs and objectives, the therapist's clinical recommendations, and the expectations of the referring provider. Direct access to physical therapy for patients with musculoskeletal disorders: a review of the literature. Remember that home exercises are an integral part of physical therapy. By Brett Sears, PT Brett Sears, PT, MDT, is a physical therapist with more than 20 years of experience in orthopedic and inpatient therapy.