What To Expect From Your First Physio Appointment At W5

January 19, 2019

At W5, we understand that any form of medical treatment can be daunting. And especially so if you’ve never had physio before. It’s normal to have a whole host of questions such as will it hurt? Will I see immediate results? And, is physio the right treatment for me? Well, we’re here to help…

Your initial assessment will comprise of three parts: the subjective and objective examinations, followed by a diagnosis.

This short article has been written to put you at ease and provides an insight into exactly what you can expect from your first physiotherapy appointment with us.

The subjective examination

As physiotherapists, we work within a biopsychosocial model…wow! Are you blinded by technobabble yet? What we basically mean is “listening to you about your complaint” – something we call the “subjective examination.”

The first part of your initial appointment will involve us collecting a lot of information from you about what’s wrong and, more importantly, how it’s affecting you so that we can work out how to help.

During this subjective examination, we’ll ask questions that aim to rule out things like chronic pain (pain that’s been present for a long time, comes from the central nervous system and may be better treated by specialists such as a psychologist); or, things like tumours, that unfortunately won’t benefit from physiotherapy either.

It’s really important we ask you lots of questions to gather as much information as possible. We’ll likely ask you what you think is going on and whether you have any thoughts on how we can help you to get yourself better.

It’s all part of us building a partnership where you’re in the driving seat and we’re simply helping you to your destination of feeling better. And we appreciate that the journey to recovery will look different for every individual.

The objective examination

The next stage is the objective examination. Based upon the information you provided us in the subjective, we probably have an idea of what the complaint could be.

This part of your appointment helps us to test some of our thoughts around what we think the problem is.

This is the “hands-on” part of your session where your physiotherapist will use gentle movements and/or manual therapy techniques to confirm your complaint and to help the pain and restore some movement, should you be having mobility issues.

We’ll ask you to show us where it hurts and when it feels better by guiding you through a series of movements such as bending, stretching and twisting. We’ll carry out a full assessment, palpitating muscles and checking joints for stiffness or laxity.

The objective is also the part of the examination where we use our neurological testing skills. This means testing your reflexes, muscle strength and sensation. A thorough neurological exam helps to “rule in” problems of the nervous system and can help your physiotherapist decide whether you need an x-ray or scan.

The diagnosis

Once we’ve carried out both the subjective and objective examinations we can reach a diagnosis and discuss what we can do to help. We’ll estimate how much treatment is required and how long it will take to reach the goals agreed with you.

By the end of your first session, you’ll understand:

  • What’s wrong
  • What to do about it
  • An approximate recovery time
  • And, how to prevent problems coming back.

Do you think you or someone you know could benefit from physiotherapy? Why not get in touch to arrange an initial appointment. Our team of professional and friendly staff will use their experience and knowledge to put you at ease and ensure you’re feeling better as soon as possible.

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