Your First Physical Therapy Visit

Initial Evaluation

Treatment begins with a conversation about your health history and the goals you hope to establish through physical therapy. A physical exam is performed to assess your movement and to identify any pain you are having (and what may be causing it). The exam includes tests of your strength, range of motion, basic neurological function, and of course a functional movement assessment (often dance-specific). 

Goals

Having performed the physical exam, we can identify impairments to work on and a treatment plan to help you reach your goals. Whether your goals relate to dance, sports, or just activities of daily living, we will discuss what is (and is not) safe in terms of physical activity, and set goals to help you get there.

Treatment

The purpose of treatment is usually to help improve symptoms and support the healing process; we work together to help your condition become less painful and to prevent it from getting any worse. We can approach this in many ways, including manual (hands-on) therapy, therapeutic exercises to strengthen and stretch the body, modifications in daily activities to support healing, and modalities for pain control/support (athletic taping & bracing, heat & ice, electrical stimulation, etc). We progress from there to help you regain full strength, flexibility and activity participation. Ultimately, our intent is not only to assist recovery from the current injury, but also to help prevent future problems and optimize overall wellness. To this end, a primary goal of treatment is to help you fully understand your injury and how it occurred. The better you understand your injury, the more empowered you will be to optimize your body’s innate ability to heal. 

What to Wear?

Exercise clothes that are comfortable and easy to move in. Specific shoes (e.g. ballet slippers or pointe shoes) may also be helpful if relevant to you.