During your first consultation you will be encouraged to describe your problem in detail and your physiotherapist will listen to everything you have to say.
Your physiotherapist will then ask you questions to help them narrow down your possible diagnoses. Questions about your medical history and current lifestyle can also help with this.
Once enough information is gathered your physiotherapist will explain to you what will happen during the physical examination. Assessing the injured body part and other nearby structures is essential to making the right diagnosis.
Once your physiotherapist is satisfied they know the source of your problem they will explain exactly what they feel is going on. This will be in language you understand and you will be encouraged to ask questions if there is anything you don’t understand. Usually treatment can start in the first session and this may involve advice about things you can do to help yourself, education to help you understand your problem really well and it may also involve some “hands on treatment” or designing an exercise programme for you.
If you come back for a follow up session, which is usually encouraged, there will be less examination and more time given to progressing your treatment. This may be more “hands on treatments”, progressing your exercise programme or even further discussion about ways you can sort your problem out by yourself. Having clear goals is also important and there will usually be discussion about goal setting during your sessions.
At all times during your physiotherapy sessions you are encouraged to ask questions if there is anything you don’t understand. If there is a certain type of treatment you were expecting it is important to mention this too.
Some of the most common types of assessment and treatment methods are listed.