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What to expect when you first see a physiotherapist?

Updated: Apr 15

A physiotherapist massaging a patient's knee and leg

Upon meeting your physiotherapist for the first time, the session will begin with your physio asking you a series of questions surrounding your problem. This will include such questions as what part of the body is affected, when the problem occurs, how long it lasts, what makes it worse/better and how it has been affecting your daily routine.

The physiotherapist may also enquire about your current and previous exercise habits, and general health screening questions i.e. do you suffer from any other health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure and whether you are currently taking any medications.

All of the above questions are important as we need to know how your current problem is affecting your activities of daily living and your responses will assist the physio during their physical assessment.

Once your physiotherapist is happy they have enough information from you they will begin the physical examination. This involves:

  • Looking at your overall posture in different positions i.e. standing versus sitting

  • Examining different functional movements such as walking, squatting, and bending forwards...

  • Assessing the size and feel of your muscles i.e. are they tender or tight?

  • Testing the strength of your muscles in the relevant areas

  • Comparing joint movement, looking at stiffness, pain and range of movement left versus right sides

  • There may also be other tests that your physiotherapist will perform to determine what is causing the problem.

By combining the findings from your physical assessment and initial interview your physiotherapist will then make a diagnosis and create a treatment plan with you.

Together you can then set a series of goals to work towards within the most ideal time frame for your lifestyle.

Quick tips when attending the physio:

  • Wear comfortable clothing that is easy to move around in

  • Wear appropriate footwear for walking/running if required

  • Bring any recent scans or X-rays if related to your current problem

  • Note any medications you are taking for this problem or any other health conditions

  • Take note of what makes your problem better or worse

  • If you have previously seen another health professional and you were given exercises bring a copy of these for your physio to look over

  • Remove any tape if able so your physio can see the entire area that is sore

To learn more about our physiotherapists click here.

To book an appointment with one of our physiotherapist click here.

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