Top 5 Things that may Happen During your Physiotherapy Appointment

Physiotherapy is an amazing profession. We are an allied healthcare profession, and primary are practitioners. We work across multiple specialities. We look at ways to rehabilitate (usually without the need for drugs or medication) and we’ve got well over a thousand testimonials from patients who genuinely feel their life has changed for the better.

Your first physiotherapy appointment may be a little daunting if you have not previously seen a physio before. Well, don’t be nervous or anxious. We’re here to help you. We will do our best to help you. Let’s look at our top five things that may happen during your first physiotherapy appointment…

1. Case History

Your physiotherapist will take a case history. We’ll want to conduct a thorough assessment. This includes discussing your medical history, your current physical abilities, pain levels, and the specific circumstances of your injury or condition, if applicable. We’ll ask you about aggravating and relieving factors. We’ll ask you if there are any patterns to your pain. We’ll want to know any serious medical problems in the past. We may ask you what medication you are taking. And we’ll definitely want to know how the pain started, and how long it has been there. All of these things help us to build a picture to come to a diagnosis. Consent is important, so at this point if you do not want to proceed, just let your physio know.

2. Physical Examination

Your physiotherapist may conduct a physical examination to assess your posture, movement, and physical capabilities. This could involve testing your flexibility, strength, balance, joint mobility, and other relevant physical characteristics. This examination helps them understand your physical function and limitations. We may try to replicate your pain, so we can understand the biomechanics of your problem. We may want to palpate your joints or muscles. We may do special tests on you, which usually involve moving a joint to a particular range of movement. This helps us to form a diagnosis.

3. Diagnosis

We’ll often form a diagnosis with all the parts of the puzzle. We’ll explain to you what we think is going on. We’ll talk through with you options, through a process of shared decision making. If we are unable to form a diagnosis, we may need to get further information such as information from your last blood test, scans, or X-rays. But in most cases, we can form a clear diagnosis and create a treatment plan.

4. Treatment

Treatment may vary depending on the clinical setting. For example, if you are seeing an NHS physio there may be time/session limitations set on us by the commissioners. We do our best to provide you the necessary treatment within the scope of any contracts that we work in. If you are a private patient, we have more flexibility to see you for more treatment and run a longer course of therapy if needed, including more manual therapy. Most patients want hands-on treatment, or rehab. We always try to offer patients what we can.

5. Home Exercise Plan

Often, the physiotherapist will give you exercises to do at home to help your progress. They will make sure you understand how to do them correctly to prevent further injury. At Surrey Physio, we use Rehab My Patient to prescribe exercises. It’s a brilliant and clear exercise prescription software to guide you with videos, images and line-arts. We need you to do the exercises so you can get better while we are not treating you, in-between appointments. Patients that do the exercises tend to get better quicker in our experience. But if doing home exercises is not for you (and it does not work for everyone), then just pop in and get more treatment from our therapy team.

Here are some examples of exercises we might prescribe if you came in with acute knee pain:

The goal of your physiotherapist is to help you get better, and they are there to support you. We do our best to help you.

If you are a patient, in pain suffering with acute or chronic pain, please call us to discuss your case further. Surrey Physio have an amazing team of therapists to help you recover from pain, but also to achieve top performance. Call us on 0208 685 6930 or click the link at the top to book online.)