What to expect
A physical therapist helps take care of patients in all phases of healing, from initial diagnosis through the restorative and preventive stages of recovery. Physical therapy may be a standalone option, or it may support other treatments.
Some patients are referred to a physical therapist by their doctor, but other seek therapy themselves.
Whichever way a patient come to a physical therapist, they can expect to:
- Undergo a physical exam and evaluation, including a health history and certain testing procedures, including evaluation of posture, movement and flexibility, and of muscle and joint motion and performance
- Receive a clinical diagnosis, prognosis, plan of care and short and long term goals
- Receive physical therapy treatment and intervention based on the therapist’s evaluation and diagnosis
- Receive self-management recommendations
Patients often train with a physical therapist in exercises that they can do at home, to help them function more effectively.