Whether you were recently in a car accident or are recovering from a surgery, your doctor may have recommended physical therapy as part of your treatment plan. When you schedule an appointment for physical therapy in Atlanta, your physical therapist will work with you to regain strength and mobility as you heal and recover. Physical therapy is common with car accident victims who have suffered an injury that has left them weakened and with limited range of motion. People recovering from surgery also regularly attend physical therapy for help regaining regular and improved functioning. If your doctor recommended physical therapy, then you might have questions about what the experience will be like. Here are the top 5 questions patients ask before beginning physical therapy and answers to help put your mind at ease.
How can I prepare for my first physical therapy appointment?
When you visit your physical therapist for the first time, you will need to get some paperwork and information out of the way at the beginning. This may include bringing a copy of your ID, any insurance cards or paperwork, and providing the doctor with a list of your current medications. When you meet with a physical therapist in the same office as your doctor, you don’t have to worry about bringing copies of scans or results like X-rays and CT scans because this information is shared among your medical team. You can also prepare for your first appointment by wearing something comfortable as if you were going to the gym or preparing for some light exercise.
What happens during a physical therapy session?
A physical therapy session will typically involve stretches and exercises that promote strength and mobility as part of your healing process. Physical therapists work with areas impacted by your injury or medical condition and focus on improving your functioning. Your physical therapist may help you stretch certain muscles and perform stretches and exercises that may cause you some mild discomfort as your body regains strength and flexibility. Other treatment modalities in physical therapy may include alternating ice and heat, ultrasound, and other manual therapies that help reduce your pain and restore healthy functioning.
Will physical therapy exercises make me sore?
You may experience soreness after physical therapy sessions because you are working muscles and tendons that may have been negatively impacted by your injury or recent surgery. Stretching muscles after a period of disuse can cause soreness, just like after you try a new workout for the first time. Sore, tired muscles are not uncommon after a physical therapy session and your physical therapist will talk you through what to expect during the appointment and once you get home. You should always feel comfortable talking to your physical therapist about the soreness you experienced and if you noticed your pain getting worse. Physical therapy is about promoting healing in the body through improving strength, flexibility, and mobility.
How long will physical therapy last?
The duration of your physical therapy regimen will depend on your specific injury or medical condition. Physical therapy treatments are designed individually with each unique person and their experiences in mind. There are no one-size-fits-all treatments with physical therapy because everybody reacts differently to injury, surgery, and recovery. Each appointment may last approximately 60 minutes and the number of visits each week will depend on a number of factors. You and your physical therapist will work together to determine goals for treatment including desired results. Your age, severity of the injury, and general physical activity level can all play a large part in the length of physical therapy treatment.
Will I have to complete exercises at home?
Your physical therapist will talk to you about what remedies, stretches, and exercises may be appropriate for you to do at home in between sessions. This may include applying ice and heat to sore muscles after each of your appointments. They may also want you to practice certain stretches and exercises in between appointments to help you transition from needing physical therapy multiple times a week to being able to maintain your healthy functioning on your own.
Visit an AICA Orthopedics location near you for the best physical therapy in Atlanta! Our team of orthopedic doctors, surgeons, and physical therapists work together to provide quality, comprehensive care from diagnosis through recovery.