How to Prepare for Your Physical Therapy Consultation

When you're dealing with ongoing pain, like a bad joint or a soft tissue injury from sports, physical therapy may be a great option. However, some people find physical therapy intimidating. You shouldn't be nervous about seeking treatment to improve your motor function, reduce pain, and increase your overall quality of life.

If you aren't sure yet if physical therapy is right for you, scheduling a consultation with a compassionate and personalized physical therapy facility, like 5focus, may be the best option. 5focus works with all major insurance carriers and even offers clients a 20-minute free consultation to go over movement and injury-related questions or concerns. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your initial consultation for physical therapy.

1. You can pick your physical therapist. No matter what hospital or doctor you have been seeing, you have patient’s rights. Even if you have been referred to a particular physical therapist, you can still choose to seek therapy elsewhere. Choose a practice that fits your goals and preferences.

2. Take notes before your appointment. It can be hard to recall, while nervous and in an unfamiliar office, exactly what symptoms you've had. Do time of day or weather conditions impact your pain? Are certain motions or activities more difficult or painful? In the days before your consultation, take the time to write down notes when something hurts. Also list any questions you have that you hope to ask so you don't forget in the moment.

3. Acquire necessary medical records. Is this consultation related to an injury or an old illness? Have you been treated for something related before? Having records and information about these details will help your physical therapist provide better options and answers for you.

4. Mentally prepare for the session. Your physical therapist may ask a lot of questions. They may manipulate the affected limb or extremity. They may need to observe you lift, squat, or walk. Try to figure out what you want from therapy beforehand, so you can discuss your goals and hopes with the physical therapist. Ready yourself for the social, and likely physical, interaction to ensure you're comfortable in the consultation.

5. Look into finances. Are you on a fixed budget? Do you have the proper health insurance? You will want to ensure that the physical therapist accepts your plan.

With a little preparation, a 20-minute consultation can help you determine the best way to move forward with your physical therapy plan. Instead of muddling through life with pain or reduced mobility, you can improve your health and well-being while also educating yourself about avoiding future injuries.

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