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  • emccallpeat

There's a first time for everything.

So, you've booked your first physiotherapy appointment?

The first time for anything can leave all of us feeling apprehensive and even a little nervous about what to expect. There is definitely a running joke between physio's and their patients about how PT should actually stand for 'physical torture' and not the intended physical therapy. Let's put your mind at rest.

Jokes aside, my intention for this blog is to hopefully provide those of you who are unsure about what's to come with some general information about what you can expect from your first session at the physio to help ease some of the butterflies you may have and possibly answer a few of the questions that may be on your mind.

You've arrived.

On arrival at your physiotherapist's rooms you will, as a new patient, generally be required to fill out a few forms. With all the advancements in technology this may be done electronically, but for those of us still trying to wrap our heads around it all it will be down to the trusty old pen and paper. Arriving a few minutes earlier will give you time to complete your forms without any stress.

When it is time for your session, which differs but is commonly between 30-45min, the physio will take you through and once settled in, will begin by taking a thorough medical history and of course dive in to the main reason that you have come to see them. This gives both you and your physio time to ask and say all that you need on this initial meeting.

HINT: make sure to bring your medical aid details if needed, referral letters/scans/results of any kind from other health care providers, braces/inserts, running shoes if a runner, list of medications and dosage if not known by heart. I always think rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Now we move.

Once all the necessary information has been asked and shared, your physio will conduct a physical examination where they will observe, instruct you on certain movements to perform and carry out specific tests in order to understand what may be going on.

HINT: Because you will be required to move and the physio will need to have a look at and assess your areas of concern, dressing appropriately for the session is a an incredible help.

Time to treat.

Taking the time to gather the necessary information from both the verbal and physical assessment is very important and is the key focus during your first session as it is what your physio relies on to understand what may be causing or contributing to your concerns and what treatments to offer in order to best assist you.

After the above has been completed the remainder of the session will be spent on treatment. There are a variety of treatment techniques that your physio may perform and they will decided on the ones best for you (some listed below):

  • dry needling

  • taping

  • posture correction and ergonomics

  • myofascial release and massage

  • education and advice

  • breathing techniques

  • joint mobilisation

  • electrotherapy

  • exercise

HINT: your physio will usually advise you after your session about when to return for a follow up treatment and the plan moving forward.

A little more sure?

While this blog has really just given a brief outline of what a first physio session could look like I hope that it has possibly answered a few of the questions you may have had and left you feeling a little more sure of what to expect.

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