During your first visit, you can expect the following:
- Arrive at your appointment 10 -15 minutes early as you will need to complete a medical questionnaire.
- You will provide us with your prescription for physical therapy, occupational therapy, osteopathy or dietetics (if you have one).
- Your therapist will meet with you in a private setting where you will be seen for the initial evaluation.
- During this initial exam, the therapist will discuss the following:
- Your medical history.
- Your current problems/complaints.
- Pain intensity, what aggravates and eases the problem.
- How this is impacting your daily activities or your functional limitations.
- The goals you expect to attain through therapy.
- Medications, tests, and procedures related to your health.
The therapist will then perform an objective evaluation which may include some of the following:
- the therapist will assess the positions of joints relative to the ideal and each other.
Range of Motion (ROM)
- the therapist will move the joint(s) to check for the quality of movement and any restrictions.
- the therapist will evaluate the strength and the quality of the muscle contractions. Pain and weakness may be noted. Often the muscle strength is graded.
- the therapist may check to see how the nerves are communicating with the muscles, their ability to sense touch, pain, vibration, or temperature. Reflexes may be assessed as well.
- the therapist may perform special tests to confirm/rule out the presence of additional problems.
- touching of the pain/problem area. This is done to check for the presence of tenderness, swelling, soft tissue integrity, tissue temperature, inflammation, etc.
The therapist will then formulate a list of problems you are having, and how to treat those problems. A plan is subsequently developed with the patient's input. This includes how many times you should see the therapist every week, how many weeks you will need therapy, short-term/long-term goals, and what is expected after discharge from therapy. This plan is created with input from you, your therapist, and your doctor. You will then receive a home exercise program and a detailed explanation on how to do these exercises.