The Goal of Physical Therapy
The easy and straight-forward answer to the goal or purpose of therapy is, “to restore maximal physical pain-free function”. The complexity is in the fact that everyone is unique in every way possible from physical structure, lifestyle, general health, past injuries, and current physical demands from work to recreational activity. So each person has their own limitations, health history, and current situation that demands that we as physical therapists, provide a comprehensive, full body examination to discover what is working and what is not working correctly.
Once the dysfunctions are found, we work together as patient and clinician to determine YOUR goals for PT. What do YOU want out of this process of working together? What do YOU need to be able to do in your normal daily life that you are currently having limitations or pain while performing?
What to Expect
The initial evaluation process includes initial paperwork that helps us to handle your past medical history, allow us to charge your insurance, communicate with your health care provider (and anyone else you wish us to discuss your situation with), and basic legal documentation that is required for us to practice in medicine. This process requires approximately 15 minutes but can also be completed online in our website.
In your first visit we will discuss your limitations, how it all started, what makes it worse and better, and your specific symptoms. Please be prepared to answer these questions and bring any pertinent information that you may have including any previous diagnostic testing results or visit information from any other specialist you have seen for the current issue.
We will then progress into the physical examination from a fully body functional perspective. Please wear appropriate clothing including shorts and t-shirts whenever possible. Be aware that as manual therapists we have a hands on approach in which we are able to feel joint movements, muscle tension, muscle flexibility, and strength measurements including all the joints of your spine and extremities. Please let us know if you have any issues or personal barriers while working so that we can customize your therapy accordingly. Everyone has their own personal space barriers and your comfort is our main priority in this capacity. We work very hard to be sure you are fully aware of the what and why of the techniques and testings that we do but please always be aware that you are in complete control of what happens during physical therapy.
Plan of Action
Once your specific limitations are discovered and a plan of care is determined, a full and complete education and discussion of what we found, what can be done, and how do we do we get there—is completed. Again, we want your full participation in your health and recovery, so we want to be able to fully explain to your understanding and comprehension.
From there, we simply make an agreement to work together toward your specific goals to what you want your life to be.