Your First Visit to the Physiotherapist
At Lane Cove Physiotherapy, we pride ourselves on putting our clients first and making your comfort and wellbeing our priority during our assessment and treatment process. We understand that coming into a physio session for the first time can be daunting, which is why we want to make sure you know what to expect before coming in for your consultation.
When you come in for your first physiotherapy appointment, we will go through a lot of information so that we can better understand what your injury is and how we can help you heal. Here is a short overview of what you can expect during your first appointment.
A physiotherapist is a health care professional who helps people with movement and pain problems.
Physiotherapists work with people of all ages, from newborns to the elderly. They work with patients who have a variety of conditions, such as:
- Acute and chronic pain
- Cardiovascular disease
- Muscle weakness
- Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis (MS)
During your First Session
Your initial physiotherapy session at our clinic will last for approximately one hour. This will give us time to get to know you and your injury, and for you to ask any questions that you have about the treatment process.
When you visit a physiotherapist for the first time, they will ask you about your injury or pain. They will want to know how long you have been experiencing the problem, what makes it worse, and what makes it better. The physiotherapist will then do a physical examination. This may involve watching you move, feel around your injured area, and testing your range of motion and strength.
All of this information helps the physiotherapist to make a diagnosis.
What is a Physiotherapy Diagnosis?
A physiotherapy diagnosis is a clinical opinion about the nature of your injury or pain, what is causing it, and how best to treat it. It is made after taking a thorough history and performing a physical examination. Sometimes imaging (such as x-rays or MRI scans) or blood tests are also helpful in making a diagnosis.
Your physiotherapy treatment will be tailored to your individual needs. The number of sessions you need will depend on the severity of your injury or pain. Most people see a physiotherapist for 2-6 sessions.
What Should I Bring?
To get the most out of your physiotherapy session, it is important that you come prepared.
Please bring along any recent X-rays or MRI scans that you have had as well as a list of any medications that you are currently taking. It is also a good idea to wear loose, comfortable clothing that does not restrict your movement in any way.
A physio will often use medical terms when discussing their diagnosis with you. Here are some common ones:
- Musculoskeletal – relating to the muscles and bones. For example, “You have a musculoskeletal problem with your shoulder”.
- Joint – where two bones meet. For example, “Your shoulder joint is not moving as well as it should”.
- Range of motion – the amount that a joint can be moved through its normal range. For example, “Your shoulder has decreased range of motion”.
- Tendon – tissue that attaches muscle to bone. For example, “The tendon in your shoulder is inflamed”.
- Ligament – tissue that attaches bone to bone. For example, “The ligaments in your knee are fatigued”
- Nerve – travels from the brain to the body to provide sensation and power muscles to move
- Neurodynamics – movement of nerves
Physiotherapists use a range of techniques to help their patients. These techniques include:
- Exercise programs – to improve strength, flexibility, and mobility – This could be things like guided gym rehabilitation, stretching, or Yoga
- Aquatic therapy/Hydrotherapy – Lane Cove’s Hydrotherapy pool is warm and heated to a comfortable and functional 34°C.
- Manual therapy and mobilisation – to reduce pain and stiffness
- Massage – to relax muscles and relieve pain
- Taping – to support weak or injured muscles
If you’re experiencing pain or have suffered an injury, one of the best things you can do is visit a physiotherapist.
At the end of your first appointment, you should have a good understanding of what is causing your problem and how physiotherapy can help. You should also know what the next steps are in terms of treatment. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask.
Lane Cove Physiotherapists are here to help you get back to feeling your best again!