Sometimes it can be stressful coming into a new environment, especially one involving your health. We want to make sure that you feel comfortable coming to Donald Physiotherapy. I wanted to break down what happens at your first physiotherapy appointment, so there are no surprises for you and you can feel prepared coming in.
How early should you be for your first appointment?
We recommend coming 10 mins early for your first appointment. This allows time to fill out the intake forms and ask any questions to our admin team regarding billing.
What to bring to your first appointment?
· Health card
· Benefits information (if applicable)
· List of medications (if applicable)
· Referral form (if applicable) – please note that you can self-refer to physio but your health insurance coverage my require a physician note
· Diagnostic imaging reports i.e. xrays, ultrasounds, etc.. (if applicable)
· Specialist reports i.e surgeon (if applicable)
What to wear to your first appointment?
· We recommend wearing comfortable clothes that you can move in.
· It is always helpful for the therapist to be able to see and move the area you are coming in for.
o We recommend wearing a t-shirt or tank top if coming in for your neck, mid back, shoulders, elbows, forearms and/or wrists/hands.
o We recommend bringing shorts if you are coming in for your low back, hips, knees and/or ankles. Don’t worry if you forget shorts, we have some on hand.
· Please note that it is always your choice to change or not. We will respect any decision you make regarding attire, and will do our best to evaluate the area that you have come in for.
What kinds of questions will the therapist ask at the first assessment?
Each therapist has developed their own way of carrying out the subjective component of the assessment. However, these are some of the most common questions that we will ask:
· What brings you in to physio?
· How did you hurt yourself?
· How long have you been dealing with the issue for?
· What & where are your symptoms?
o How would you describe them? (sharp, dull, achy, throbby, pins, needles)
o Are they constant? (which to us means every second of every day, you go to sleep with it and wake up with it)
o Are they intermittent? (which means they come and go, so there are periods where you would rate your symptoms at 0/10)
o Do they have a pattern throughout the day?
o Is there anything that makes them better? Worse?
o Do you have any previous injuries?
o Have you had diagnostic imaging completed? (ie xray, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI)
o Is the condition affecting your sleep?
o We will also discuss your:
§ Past medical history
§ Current list of medication (s)
§ Activity level
o We will ask what your goals are with physiotherapy
What kind of tests will we do at the first assessment?
After the subjective portion of the assessment, the therapist will have you perform objective tests such as checking your range of motion, strength, joint mobility, reflexes, and function to help with determining the diagnosis.
After the objective portion of the assessment, the therapist will review their findings with you and provide education regarding your situation. They will discuss the treatment plan, including recommended frequency of treatment, and when possible, the length of time they anticipate you spending in physiotherapy. Please note that it is not always possible for the therapist to provide the prognosis at the first assessment.
In addition to the educational component, the therapist will provide you with exercises to do at home. They will review these exercises and ensure you are comfortable with them prior to you leaving. Please note that the exercises are a fundamental aspect of rehab and your commitment to them is imperative.
After the Initial Assessment
· Ask questions
o Make sure that before you leave the room you have asked your therapist about any questions or anything that you need clarification on. Remember no question is too small.
· Book your next appointments
o We recommend booking your follow up appointments 2-3 weeks ahead. This ensures you will get an appointment with your therapist, and that you are more likely to get the time that meets your schedule best.
· Drink water and start your exercises
o It is not uncommon to be a little sore after the first assessment. Drinking plenty of fluids and starting with your exercises will help with post assessment soreness.
Any questions, never hesitate to touch base at the clinic at 306-933-3372 or firstname.lastname@example.org
~ Amber, PT