How should you prepare for a visit to physical therapy?

Physical therapists work with patients with a wide spectrum of health concerns—from rheumatoid arthritis to sports injuries to stroke. When you meet your physical therapist, you can expect a thorough evaluation of your health and rehabilitation goals. At Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, our physical rehab team focuses on patient-centered care that takes a collaborative approach to recovery.

Gather important medical information and documents
In order to develop the most effective treatment plan for your needs, your physical therapist needs some information from you. Prepare for your visit by writing down all of your symptoms and physical limitations. Consider whether any of these issues are:

  • Worse or better at certain times
  • Worse or better during rest
  • Affected by certain activities or positions

Your physical therapist will also need your full medical history, even if some information seems unrelated to your current rehab goals. Call the office ahead of time to ensure they’ve received any imaging scans, medical reports or lab test results you may have had. You should also bring the contact information of your treating physicians and specialists.

Lastly, bring your day planner. You can expect to schedule additional physical therapy appointments before you leave.

Bring assistive devices, if needed
If you currently use any assistive devices, you should bring them to your appointment. These may include:

  • Walker
  • Crutches
  • Cane
  • Braces
  • Knee walker

Wear comfortable clothes
You might get started on some stretches and exercises during your first visit. It’s advisable to wear loose, comfortable clothing. Wear athletic shoes with non-skid soles.

Know how to get the most out of physical therapy
A successful course of physical therapy depends on the effort of the patient. To get the most out of your treatment, you should carefully follow your schedule of at-home exercises and stretches, and attend each physical therapy appointment. Be sure to give your physical therapist plenty of feedback about your symptoms and challenges, as he or she can adjust your treatment plan as needed.

Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center features a fully equipped, accredited Rehabilitation Unit for inpatients. Our physical rehab specialists are committed to providing the superior level of care that our patients deserve. Families in Las Vegas can request a referral by calling (702) 233-5300.

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