My Health Blog Methodist Health Home
7 Ways to Prepare for Physical Therapy
last updated:
Thu, 4/08/2010 3:40 PM

Hello. I am Dawn Caldwell, PT. I have worked as a physical therapist for 19 years and work in the homecare environment with my patients. Some people refer to PT as pain and torture but it refers to a physical therapist. There are some things you should know before you are referred to physical therapy. 

If you go to your doctor with a problem and he says, "we are going to try some physical therapy to help you," you need to educate and prepare yourself so you know what to expect. Here are some ways to be ready for that first physical therapy visit:

  1. Ask your doctor what type of therapy you will be doing and what to expect.
  2. If you have a specific problem like a wound, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, lymphodema, chronic pain, stroke, orthopaedic problem, then ask the doctor who he recommends because therapists have different training, specialties and certifications. 
  3. Ask your friends if they have had physcial therapy, what their experience was and if they would recommend their physical therapist. You must still be referred by your doctor, but this will give you a name to start with.
  4. Go and visit the facility. When you make your appointment, do it in person and meet the therapist. Look around and see if the facility is clean, see if the therapists give the patients one on one, or if it is like a gym and fitness center.  
  5. Make sure your insurance covers the physical therapy and the clinic where you were referred. See what your out of pocket expense will be. 
  6. Before your appointment for your evaluation, write down your problem in detail.  Therapist are usually good listeners and like facts on your history, medications, sleeping patterns, recent changes in activity, what can you do and don’t do, why are you here for therapy—in addition to the fact that the doctor sent you. 
  7. Think about your goal. What do you want to accomplish? What is the realistic outcome of therapy? Communicate all this with your therapist because it will help establish a plan of care that will meet your needs.

When you arrive for your first physical therapy appointment, wear comfortable clothes and athletic shoes for your evaluation and therapy sessions. Relax and talk to your therapist. It is important that you feel comfortable talking to him or her about what is going on. I have talked with patients and found that the reason for the cramps or pain in their legs might be due to not taking their potassium as ordered, that another doctor has ordered a new medicine with pain as a side effect, not sleeping at night. When they saw the doctor this was not addressed.

So, the most important thing you can do is COMMUNICATE with your physical therapist and your doctor so you can get the best treatment for yourself.


Dawn Caldwell is a Physical Therapist with Methodist Healthcare. All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice.


Model ten przez Meccaniche Veloci zostal Zegarki repliki zaprojektowany aby byc czytelne przez zawodników podczas zawodów. Zintegrowany z ramka tytanu, Sterownik Chrono (38 mm) case Tytan jest przechylanie (dwie pozycje) tak, ze kierowca moze odczytac czas na pierwszy rzut oka bez praktycznie opuszczenia oczu od drogi.

Posted by Gast on April 21, 2014 at 09:22 PM CDT #

Today?s real estate market may existing some special and seeking problems. Financing for starters, especially for traders is very restricted. Real estate and also the economic climate are experiencing the biggest recession considering that the Great depression. today If you wish to be effective together with your financial trading, you should know your history. Staring at the tales of past traders can train you important financial concepts. Concepts don?t change. finance Many magazine articles and marketers think top insurance financial producers can offer solutions to highlighting the road to success. Insurance financial items advice turns into a effective story only if relevant producer

Posted by moneyjournal on August 06, 2014 at 12:44 PM CDT #

oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses

Posted by cmoutlet on August 30, 2014 at 01:55 AM CDT #

Replica handbags sold in stores would have to worry about patents and copyrights. However, the gucci replica Internet has brought a new dimension. In addition to handbags, replica items can easily be found online. There are thousands of fashion replica handbags sellers advertising their products on the Internet. Some even offer cash back offers. These bags manufacturing occurs in the Far East. China has become a leading supplier in this regard. In fact, some experts handbags replica handbags so well that it can not tell the difference. These prada replica manufacturers produce imitation replica handbags is good. Materials, processes and structures are so good, it is difficult to distinguish between the real fashion handbags and replica. In the end is what attracts a lot of customers replica handbags is their availability.

Posted by Batty on October 13, 2014 at 10:45 PM CDT #

For the louis vuitton replica woman who loves a different gift, Live, Laugh, Love is a abundant little allowance boutique with decor, accessories and apparel. Candles, handbags, jewelry, and shoes are just some of the abundant things they accept in stock. The agents is abreast and affable and are abiding to advice you acquisition the absolute Mother's Day gift.The alternative of alpha allowance sets and candles would accomplish the ideal allowance for Mothers Day. Mums can accede a moment in time to relax with a part of the the starting candles or actualize an affectionate amplitude for accepting enjoyed with admired ones.

Posted by Tiaey on April 28, 2015 at 03:04 AM CDT #

This is a really helpful article about preparing for physical therapy. When my doctor first told me I'd have to go through a few PT appointments, I was a little nervous and didn't know what to expect. But with these pretty simple tips I am a lot more confident and prepared. thanks so much! I'll have to go visit the facility I was referred to, but other than that I think I'm ready!

Posted by Paul Langley on January 21, 2016 at 02:22 PM CST #

Post a Comment:
  • HTML Syntax: Allowed
  • *Required


Related Links


Subscribe  Subscribe via RSS


Bookmark and Share

Contact Us Web Site Privacy Practices Patient Privacy Practices Disclaimer Newsroom

Methodist Healthcare is an integrated health care delivery system, dedicated to the art of healing through our faith-based commitment to minister to the whole person. 1211 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38104 • (901) 516-7000