It is common for the first appointment to last two hours.
First, your physical therapist will ask many questions about your health and the specific condition that requires physical therapy today.
Your physical therapist may also ask specific questions about your home or work environment, health habits, and activity level. Note that your leisure and recreational interests are also vital.
Answer the questions with details to help your therapist create a custom recovery plan.
Second, your physical therapist will perform a detailed examination. This examination will include an evaluation of your strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, posture, blood pressure, and heart rate.
Your physical therapist might use their hands to examine or “palpate” the affected area or to perform a detailed examination of the mobility of your joints, muscles, and other tissues. Your physical therapist may also evaluate the following:
- How you walk (your “gait”)
- How do you get up from a lying position or get in and out of a chair (“functional activities”)
- How you use your body for certain activities, such as bending and lifting (“body mechanics”)
The TTN physical therapist will work with you to determine your physical therapy goals and begin to develop a plan for your treatment. In many cases, the physical therapist will make a diagnosis and begin treatment during the first appointment or shortly.