What to expect in your first physiotherapy session?


If you have never had a physiotherapy session before, you may not know what to expect. This initial meeting can create much anticipation and stress. In some cases, some patients might decide to see a physiotherapist because of some issues in other cases a patient might be referred to physiotherapy by their doctor. No matter what the situation is taking this first step might be intimidating. This article will give you some useful pointers that will help you ease into this entire process.

Before that lets take a look at what physiotherapy actually is. Physiotherapy combines manual therapy, exercises and advice to treat a variety of musculoskeletal injuries and illnesses. This includes different methods like massages, exercises, stretches and manual therapy of joints to relieve pain and discomfort. Physiotherapist may use one or a combination of these methods in several sessions depending on the patient’s condition. These methods will improve many conditions or injuries.

Let’s take a look at what all you need to do in order to be prepared for your first session.

Being prepared for first assessment

This is your very first appointment with your physiotherapist and your therapist might want to understand your medical history. In this situation it is good to carry any of the related medical documents with you. You can also jot down some points regarding your concerns in case you tend to miss out on anything. Having your documents and list in place will keep your mind calm and you will have your answers as well as questions ready.

Be Comfortable

Thinking about what to wear? The answer is simple. Wear whatever makes you feel relaxed and comfortable. In the first appointment your therapist might make you do some exercises or stretches to assess the area of discomfort. It is a good idea to wear light weight, loose or stretchable garments which are easy to roll up the garment if need be. Clothing such as cotton shorts, t-shirts and leggings are recommended. Make sure that the pain area is easily accessible.

Physical Exam

As mentioned in the previous point, the therapist will conduct a physical exam in order to assess your condition. The therapist will ask you to perform some movements or exercises. The therapist will check for any tenderness, swelling or restricted tissues while performing these tests. After this observation the therapist will recommend your treatment plan.

Types of Treatment

Your physiotherapist will recommend treatment after the initial assessment. These treatment methods may vary depending on your condition; however, these are the ones they are most likely to recommend:

Massage treatments

 This treatment deals with the manual manipulation of soft tissues, muscles, ligaments and tendons. These massages are useful in easing muscle stiffness and tension. They also speed up the recovery of any injuries.

Exercises and stretches

These are beneficial in increasing flexibility and strength. Your physiotherapist will demonstrate the correct way to do these exercises for positive results.

Therapeutic Ultrasound

This treatment makes use of high frequency sound waves to increase blood flow to any inflamed area of the body. Patients with soft tissue injuries or swollen joints will more likely need this treatment.

Heat Therapy

Warm compress such as hot flannels, heating pads are used in this treatment to relieve any pain.

This sums up all the things that you can expect in your first physiotherapy session. Feel free to discuss any doubts or concerns with your therapist. You might continue having more sessions or the therapist might end the session by giving you exercises you can do regularly at home. It is important to make a follow up visit just to track your progress.

You can book a physiotherapy appointment with us here.