Physical Therapy: What to Expect
A typical physical therapy session is always targeted to a patient’s goals and specific needs. Initially, during the first visit, a physical therapist will perform an evaluation to determine what areas are most limiting a patient. This includes looking at the specific joint or area that is bothering the patient, examining range of motion, strength, and close inspection of the joint anatomy. The patient’s comfort is always of utmost importance and a PT will try to determine as much information as possible without causing pain. Once the PT has finished the evaluation, goals will be created and specific ways to achieve those goals will be determined. A patient’s input is always a part of forming goals and determines how their sessions will be structured. For those following sessions the physical therapist will use different tools such as:
A session varies based on the patient but always involves at least 2 of the above areas and often begins with manual therapy. Sessions may end with ice if appropriate and/or electrical stimulation to help with pain and inflammation. Towards the end of a patient’s time at PT, the sessions will mainly involve exercises that are specific to whatever activity or task the patient wants to return to.
Questions are always welcome from a patient! Our goal is to make the patient comfortable and excited to return to whatever they love to do!
By: Elizabeth Bynum, PT, DBT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
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Dr. Tony Tanzi: Physical Therapist, Triathlete, Runner, Performance Coach