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Top 6 Questions to Expect from your Physical Therapist

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As a medical professional, it is very important to gather precise and accurate information from a patient regarding their symptoms in order to determine the probable diagnosis and best plan of care. Oftentimes, patients may have a hard time detailing exactly what they are feeling or when. This information is very important to help figure out the best way to eliminate the symptoms.

athletico-577If you are going to seek medical care, whether from your doctor or physical therapist, for an orthopedic-related condition, here are the questions to expect during your first session. Pay close attention to your symptoms in the days preceding your first appointment so you can accurately answer them.

  1. Did your pain begin very suddenly or gradually?
    A sudden pain may be from a tissue tear or sprain/strain. Gradual onset of pain may be from an overuse injury like tendonitis or from having poor posture.
  2. Do you have any numbness or tingling into your arms or legs?
    Numbness or tingling may signify a nerve compression either from the spine or somewhere in the extremities. Your physical therapist can perform sensation and muscle testing to help determine what nerve may be involved.
  3. Do you have any noticeable muscle weakness that began recently?
    Muscle weakness, such as difficulty gripping a pen or lifting your toes when you walk, may signify some nerve involvement. Your therapist may test your muscle strength to see if there is a significant difference on either side of your body.
  4. What activities or positions seem to make your symptoms better or worse? 
    Since most orthopedic type of pain fluctuates with changes in movement and activity level, knowing what body positions or activities cause an increase or decrease in pain gives a wealth of information to your therapist.
  5. Is the pain constant or does it come and go throughout the day?
    Your therapist may be able to give you some helpful tips to minimize your symptoms during the times of the day when they are at their worst.
  6. Have you had similar symptoms in the past?
    If your symptoms are part of a chronic condition, your therapist can work with you to modify your activity or body movements to prevent future episodes.

It is for your benefit to play close attention to your symptoms and answer these questions before your first visit so that you can give the most accurate information to your physical therapist or doctor. You will be setting yourself up for success with physical therapy and start feeling relief of your symptoms sooner!

If you would like to learn more from an Athletico physical therapist, please use the button below to schedule a complimentary injury screen at a clinic near you.

Click to Schedule a Complimentary Injury Screen

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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