Physical therapy is a way of treating pain and movement disorders primarily using exercise and treatment modalities rather than drugs. It can be effective at treating a wide range of complaints and is often a major factor in rehabilitation from an injury or surgery. Because your physical therapy plan is tailored to you, your therapist has to have a good understanding of your condition and what is causing it. The first appointment is very important to helping your therapist understand your condition. Therefore, the examination will be more detailed than at subsequent visits, where you and the therapist will concentrate more on putting the plan into action.
Your physical therapist will start out your first appointment by asking you to describe your condition subjectively. He or she will ask you to describe what symptoms you are having and whether anything makes them better or worse. You will be asked when the pain began and what you think could have caused it. If you don’t know what is causing your pain, it’s okay to say so. Your therapist is just trying to collect all relevant information. Any information you can provide may be helpful, so just answer as completely and honestly as you can. If you have imaging studies to give to your therapist, this is the time to give them to him or her.
Your physical therapist will then perform an objective examination. This involves palpation of tender areas with his or her hands to gauge pain level, measuring range of motion, and performing tests. Based on the results of this objective examination and the subjective history, the therapist can get an idea of what is causing the pain.
Your therapist’s assessment is like a diagnosis. Based on the information gathered from the history and objective examination, as well as any imaging studies and doctor’s records, if applicable, your therapist identifies your condition and its likely cause.
Plan and Goals
During your first therapy appointment, you and your therapist will work together to identify goals that you want to achieve over the course of treatment. These should be specific and measurable so your therapist can track your progress and determine when your goals have been met. Your therapist will also give you a plan for your treatment course. This will identify what you will do during sessions as well as what you will have to do outside of therapy appointments.
Subsequent physical therapy appointments in Baltimore, MD, like ones you can make at Mid Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic focus more on the treatments you receive than the diagnostics. Contact our office to schedule your initial appointment.
BY: Mid Atlantic Spinal Rehab
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