I. What is the first step in a Physiotherapist’s Evaluation?
The therapist will discuss the following:
- Your medical history
- Your current physical problems/complaints
- Pain intensity, what aggravates and eases the problem
- How this impacts your daily activities or causes functional limitations
- Your goals with physical therapy
- Medications, tests, and procedures related to your health
II. What are the parameters which the therapist will assess?
The therapist will then perform the objective evaluation which may include some of the following:
- Posture Assessment: The positions of joints relative to an ideal and each other may be assessed.
- Palpation: Touching around the area of the pain/problem. This is done to check for the presence of tenderness, swelling, soft tissue integrity, tissue temperature, inflammation etc.
- Range of Motion (ROM): The therapist will move the joint(s) to check for the quality of movement and identify restrictions (if any)
- Muscle Testing: The therapist is checking for strength and the quality of the muscle contraction. Pain and weakness may be noted. Often the muscle strength is graded.
- Kinetic chain assessment: The therapist may check the functional stability and coordination of your all joints and muscles to trace the root cause of your injury.
- Special Tests: The therapist may perform special tests to confirm/rule out the presence of additional problems.
III. How Is My Personalized Treatment Program Made?
Based on the Musculo-skeletal evaluation the therapist will then formulate a list of problems you are having, and how to address them. A plan is subsequently developed. This includes how many times you should see the therapist per week, how many weeks you will need therapy, home programs, Do’s and Don’ts, short-term/long-term goals, and a follow-up program.
IV. What Do I Need To Bring With Me?
Make sure you bring your medical records including recent X-ray, and your physical therapy referral (provided to you by your doctor)
V. How Should I Dress?
You should wear loose-fitting clothing so you can expose the area that needs to be evaluated and treated. For example, if you have a knee problem, it is best to wear shorts. For a shoulder problem, a tank top is a good choice.
VI. How Long Will Each Session Take?
Treatment sessions typically last between 30 to 60 minutes per visit.
VII. How Many Visits Will I Need?
This is highly variable. You may need one visit or you may need months of care. It depends on your diagnosis, the severity of your impairments, your past medical history, etc. You will be re-evaluated on a monthly basis. We will provide you with a progress report with our recommendations.