7 Things You Can Do To Make Your First Physical Therapy Session A Success

4 April 2016
 Categories: , Articles


Physical therapy is prescribed by doctors to help patients regain strength and mobility. There are a lot of different treatment methods used by physical therapists to restore your body back to optimal performance, including ice therapy, heat therapy, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and especially exercise. If you have never been to physical therapy before, you may experience some anxiety. But have no fear, for these 7 things listed below will help you experience a very successful physical therapy session.

1. Get Your Insurance Squared Away Prior To Your First Appointment

One of the most stressful things that can arise during your first physical therapy appointment is an issue with your insurance. In order to avoid insurance problems that could prevent you from attending your therapy session, talk to your medical insurance company a few days prior to your physical therapy (PT) appointment. Here are a few things that should be squared away prior to your appointment:

  • Make sure your therapist is in your insurance provider's network.

  • Verify how many sessions will be covered

  • Confirm what you are expected to pay out of pocket.

  • If you are worried about the financial impact of your therapy, ask the physical therapy office if they can set up a payment plan for you.

2. Bring A Bottle Of Water

You will work up a sweat during your physical therapy session, because most treatments involve exercise. Staying hydrated during your session will help your injury heal faster and will prevent you from becoming dehydrated.

3. Wear The Right Clothing

Since most physical therapy sessions involve exercising the injured body part, make sure you are wearing loose-fitting and comfortable clothes. Workout clothing and sneakers are the perfect things to wear to a PT appointment because they won't restrict your movements. Try keeping a small bag with a spare set of gym clothes and sneakers in it so you won't forget them when your physical therapy appointments are after work.

4. Bring A List Of Goals

When you first arrive to your PT session, you can expect your therapist to ask you a lot of questions about your injury, and he or she will ask you what you'd like to get out of therapy. It will be helpful if you have a list of goals ready to discuss. This will help your therapist tailor your therapy to meet your specific needs. Think about it: having free range of motion to accomplish basic tasks will require different methods of therapy than if you want to be able to run a marathon. Talking about your goals will also help the therapist determine how many treatment sessions you'll need.

5. Tell Your Physical Therapist When You Feel Pain

During your therapy, it is vital that you keep the communication lines open with your therapist. This includes speaking up when you feel pain. If you let the therapist know what your pain level is, then your exercise can be modified to reduce that pain. Also, if you don't tell your therapist when something hurts, your injury could get worse instead of better.

6. Ask Tons Of Questions

It is very important that you take an active role in your physical therapy in order for it to be successful. This is why you should always ask questions to make sure you are absolutely clear about every step of your treatment and recovery. There are no stupid questions. If you are unsure of something, you'll be more likely to refrain from performing the exercises and you will fail to progress in your treatment.

7. Leave Your Stuff At The Door

Finally, the best thing you can do to have a successful first physical therapy session is leave your cell phone and all your problems at the door. Most therapy offices will have lockers so you can lock up your personal items. It is imperative that you focus on your body and your health during the session so you can learn your body's warning signs. This is impossible to do if you are distracted by electronic gadgets or a busy mind.

If you have more questions about physical therapy treatments, contact a chiropractic office like Burgman Chiropractic Clinic PC. Many offices provide physical therapy treatments along-side chiropractic treatments.