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Whether you are injured, have been feeling some discomfort in your muscles or joints, have been having headaches or you feel like you need advice on how to change your posture, exercise technique or work position, visiting a physiotherapist may be new to you. The following blog will take you through the process of an initial physiotherapy visit so you will know what to expect.

Welcome to the Clinic

Our reception staff will be pleased to welcome you! Once you have arrived at the clinic, the reception staff will confirm your contact information and give you the appropriate forms to fill out. You can fill out the forms in advance; thPhysiotherapy-visite forms can be picked up or emailed to you ahead of time.

  • Plan for approximately 60 minutes for your first visit
  • You do not need a doctor’s note, but your insurance company may request one for reimbursement
  • Some forms can be filled ahead of time and brought in

You will then be walked through the clinic. The staff will show you around the facility and explain the flow of the clinic. They will bring you to the assessment room, where you will meet the physiotherapist. Introduction to the clinic

Interview

The physiotherapy assessment process begins with an interview. The physiotherapist will ask you questions relating to your condition and how it is affecting your life, your overall level of function and health. The physiotherapist will also take a health history. This will assist the physiotherapist to get a complete picture of you and your condition and will help guide her in the assessment. The interview will yield subjective findings regarding the problem.

Physiotherapy Assessment

A physiotherapy assessment consists of a few key elements. The physiotherapist will start by observing your posture and the area of concern. The physiotherapist may also observe the way you walk or do certain movements. You blood pressure and pulse may also be taken.

It is important to look at how the joints in the area of concern move. The range of motion will be measured using specific tools. The physiotherapist will also feel how the joint moves throughout its range of motion. The strength of the muscles involved is also an important component to test.

The physiotherapist will then use specific special tests to further assess the area of concern. These tests are designed by research to be able to give the physiotherapist more detailed information on the structures affected. The tests will reveal for example, if it is the tendon, the ligament or the muscle that is the source of the problem.

The last part of the assessment will be the palpation. The physiotherapist will feel the joint, the muscles, the tendons, the ligaments and all other structures involved. The physiotherapist will also feel these structures as you actively move your joints and passively, as she move your joints. All these assessment elements will result in objective findings.

Subjective (reported) and objective (observed/measured) findings are important to determine the cause of the problem; they are also important as a baseline. The physiotherapist will be able to compare future findings to the initial findings to determine if there is progress and to quantify this progress.

Physiotherapy Report of Findings and Consent

The physiotherapist will compile all the important subjective findings and objective findings, the responses of your questionnaires and your goals. A diagnosis will be formed and a recommended treatment plan will be developed.

The physiotherapist will take the time to go through all the pertinent subjective and objective findings with you. During the same visit,  the physiotherapist will explain the clinical impression as well as the recommended care for you. This will typically include education, manual therapies, exercises specific to your condition and needs, possibly modalities such as ultrasound, as well as home and work advice. The physiotherapist will also suggest the number of sessions recommended and expectations relating to your progress. All care plans are custom to each patient, depending on the assessment findings, your goals and your needs. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss these with the physiotherapist.

Introduction to Sessions

Depending on the circumstances of your problem, the physiotherapist may suggest to begin care on the same day of the assessment, as an introduction to physiotherapy sessions.

Once the introduction to care is complete, the physiotherapist will advise you on what to expect after your first visit and your options relating to following physiotherapy sessions.

 

Now you know what to expect during your first physiotherapy visit. The physiotherapist will also explain to you what to expect along the way. The physiotherapist will guide you in this process and ensure you are informed.

We look forward to meeting you, please call us to book your initial physiotherapy visit at 613-837-2883.

 

For more information on physiotherapy, please visit the following sites:

  1. www.physiotherapy.ca
  2. www.opa.on.ca
  3. www.collegept.org