OrthoVirginia Blog

Preparing for Your Visit with a Physical Therapist

Jo Burton, PT, DPT, Director, Physical Therapy

Physical therapists are highly educated, licensed health care professionals who examine, evaluate, and treat patients whose conditions limit their ability to move and function in daily life. Your physical therapist's overall goal is to maintain, restore, or improve your mobility and help reduce your pain.

Physical therapy should be a "hands on" approach beginning with an extensive evaluation of the patient's problem. Next, your therapist should discuss your goals of treatment. Then an individualized treatment plan is developed to attain these goals and achieve maximum functional capacity. Commonwealth physical therapists pride themselves on their personalized manual therapy techniques.

Check list for Preparing for Your Visit

  • Make a list of any questions
  • Write down any symptoms
  • Make specific notes about your symptoms
  • Write down key information about your medical history
  • Make a list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Make a note of any important personal information
  • Write down and describe any injuries, incidents, or environmental factors
  • Make a list of any medical conditions
  • Consider taking a family member or trusted friend along
  • Make sure you can see and hear as well as possible.
  • Bring any lab or diagnostic reports from other health care professionals
  • Bring a list of the names of your physician and other health care professionals

When you call to make your appointment, ask whether you should wear or bring a certain type of clothing when you come for your first visit. You may want to avoid tight or formal clothes, in case the therapist wants you to engage in activities during the first session.

Read how to prepare for your first visit with a physical therapist

Read about our eight physical therapy clinics

Jo Burton, PT, DPT, is the Director of Physical Therapy at Commonwealth Orthopaedics.