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Your First Physical Therapy Appointment

Physical therapy is usually a key step in recovering from a sports injury. While healing is often a long and potentially stressful journey, it’s one that’s worth taking. Understanding what will happen during your first appointment should help to ease any anxiety that you may be having about starting this healing process. As an experienced physical therapy for sports provider – including those at LeMoine Physical Therapy – can confirm, the physical therapy process can be daunting for some athletes… including those who have struggled with injury before and those who are impatient to get back to their regular routine. However, there is nothing inherently stressful in the process of attending one’s first PT appointment. Here is what you can expect:


Although this stage is tedious, it’s necessary, doesn’t take long, and only happens once. You’ll be asked to write down contact information, insurance details, and a description of your injury along with your symptoms. 


Once the form has been completed, an analysis will be performed. You’ll be questioned in detail about your medical situation. Do not feel frustrated that you wrote down this information just a few minutes ago; it is helpful for the doctor to hear what you’re experiencing straight from your mouth, and gives them an opportunity to ask relevant questions regarding your situation. After this, the therapist will observe your range of motion, gently moving you into different positions to better understand the source of your pain.


Before therapy can begin, the doctor needs data about your physique. Expect to be weighed and measured. Additionally, you may be asked to perform physical tasks that help determine the nature of your condition. 


Now that the therapist has assessed your injury, it’s time for a lesson in anatomy and physiology. It’s critical that you understand why your body is not functioning as it should. This awareness can help increase patience with the healing process. The doctor will follow this lecture with a plan of action. Pain medication may be prescribed, and you’ll be instructed as to what actions should be avoided, such as lifting objects over a particular weight. 


You will be taught exercises that are to be completed outside of the office. Because of this, it is advisable that you wear athletic-type clothing such as sweat pants, rather than jeans or other attire that makes movement difficult. It is critical that you follow this movement regimen for your healing program to be effective.


Having gone through this initiation process, you’ll likely have questions. Now is the time to ask them. Inquire regarding how you should reach out if concerns arise after you return home. If you’re feeling emotional and need to let out some frustration, anger, or sadness, feel comfortable doing so. Your therapist is concerned about your mental status as much as your physical wellbeing.

Recovering from an injury can be arduous but the rewards make the effort worthwhile. Get in touch with a physical therapist as soon as you require treatment.