Your evaluation visit is comprised of up to 4 distinct phases that enable your physical therapist to customize a plan of care best suited to helping you rehabilitate your unique injury or issue.
Phase 1: Assessment Questions
Your physical therapist will take you to a private exam room to talk to you and get better understanding of your chief complaint.
The physical therapist’s questions will help them to understand:
- How long you’ve been experiencing the issue.
- What treatment, if any, you’ve already received to alleviate the issue.
- What your referring doctor has told you about what’s happening.
- What series of events led to your issue.
- How the issue limits your regular activities.
- What your goals are for coming to physical therapy.
Be Aware: This portion of the evaluation takes a different amount of time for every patient. The more complex your case, the longer this will take.
Phase 2: Physical Assessment
In addition to asking you questions in regard to your chief complaint, the physical therapist will ask you to complete a series of movements in order to assess how your issue can be resolved.
Be Aware: Some of the movements your Physical Therapist asks you to complete may not seem directly related to your injury, but they are being used for a purpose. Often, when one part of your body is injured, other parts of your body start working to compensate for the weakness or injury. Your physical therapist is asking you to complete this movement so they can assess compensations such as these.
A Note On Customization
At SOL, we know that customization is the pathway to effective treatment. Customization takes time and understanding.
Although we do generally provide some initial physical therapy during your first visit, complex cases may require we spend the majority of your evaluation completing assessments.
Phase 3: Initial Physical Therapy
When your Physical Therapist has done a thorough assessment and feels they have good grasp of your chief complaint, they may do some preliminary physical therapy to begin working on your issue.
Be Aware: Physical therapy often includes hands-on manipulation of muscles. If you ever have questions about what your physical therapist is doing, definitely ask! They’ll be happy to explain the technique they’re using and why they’re using it.
Phase 4: Home Exercise Program and Your Plan of Care
Home Exercise Program (HEP)
At the end of your evaluation, your PT will recommend exercises and/or stretches for you to do at home to help your issue to heal. They may provide you with a printout of exercises, or send you an email with helpful videos or illustrations.
Before leaving, make sure you understand how to do these exercises correctly.
Plan Of Care (POC)
Your physical therapist will also communicate how many times per week you should come in for physical therapy, and how many weeks they estimate it will take for your issue to improve.