During the first visit to your physical therapist, you will have a thorough physical evaluation. The evaluation involves going over your injury and discussing with you the plan of care ordered by your doctor. Beyond this, expect the discussion to involve making sure you understand what the therapist is there to do, what you should expect from your first visit and future visits, and even exercises that you can do at home to help your recovery. In addition to what you can do, you will receive instruction on activities to avoid. The session will begin with basic examination including your range of motion, a pain evaluation, and physical limitations. If your physical therapy is scheduled as an outpatient session, the therapist may ask you about the equipment you might need at home to help your recovery. Expect questions like how many steps you need to climb to reach the front door, bedroom, etc. Also, come prepared to ask questions as part of the first visit is about making sure you understand everything that is involved. It is a good idea to bring someone with you who helps you at home. That person may be a spouse, child, or neighbor.
Your therapist will give you exercises to do at home in between your appointments. Expect basic exercises, similar to what you do during a session that you are expected to perform one or more times per day. The goal of homework is to help your body recover and rebuild strength and flexibility. Strong muscles help support bones and ligaments that are on the mend.
You should bring a list of your medications, symptoms, and the contact information for all of your doctors. It is especially important to talk with your physical therapist about any symptoms or discomfort you might have so they become aware of your limitations and can develop a plan of care that helps you succeed in recovering and returning to your pre-injury or pre-illness state of physical fitness.