What to Expect at Your First Physical Therapy Appointment

Physical Therapy session

Physical therapy is an effective treatment modality for patients who are recovering from sports injuries or from surgery. Ahead of your first appointment, it’s a good idea to call the clinic to ask what you should bring. Generally, your physical therapist will need to see your health history forms, lab reports if applicable, and any imaging scans you may have had. Wear comfortable, athletic clothing that allows easy access to the injured body part.

Medical History

Your physical therapy appointment will begin with a thorough review of your health history. Explain your diagnoses, medications, and other relevant facets of your wellness. Expect your physical therapist to ask plenty of questions about your injury and symptoms, such as how you first acquired the injury, how long you’ve had symptoms, and which activities worsen or improve your symptoms. The goal of physical therapy is to restore each patient to an optimum level of functioning. To accomplish this, your physical therapist will likely ask you about your goals. If you’re an athlete, your goal might be to get back on the field or in the gym. Or, your goal might simply be to make it through a work day without pain.


Your examination will focus on your injury or condition and your current level of functioning. Expect your physical therapist to palpate the injured body part, which means to feel it manually. He or she will move the body part in certain ways to check your range of motion. Physical therapists also typically assess a patient’s strength, functional mobility, balance, and neurological function.

Treatment Planning

Based on his or her findings, your physical therapist will design a customized treatment plan to improve your symptoms, restore your functioning, and help you achieve your rehabilitation goals. Initially, your treatment may consist of therapies designed to control your symptoms, such as ultrasound or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). You can also expect to work through a series of stretches and exercises to rehabilitate the injured body part.

The Houston Spine & Rehabilitation Centers is a leading provider of personalized physical therapy in The Woodlands. We offer both land and aquatic therapy that is designed specifically for the needs of each individual patient

Dr. Mark Yezak
Mark Yezak, BS, DC, is the founder, chiropractic director, and chief of staff at Houston Spine & Rehabilitation Centers. Offering 25 years of experience. Dr. Yezak is a published author of research papers, books, and journal entries. He is undoubtedly a leader in his field.
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