No matter if it is your first time seeing a Physical or Occupational Therapist or your 10th time, knowing how to prepare for your appointment is essential. Here are a few key tips to ensure you get the most out of your appointment time.

1.  Arrive a few minutes early.

For your initial evaluation, it is important to arrive 15 minutes early if you haven’t filled out the paperwork. It takes a little extra time to get your insurance card uploaded into our system and fill out your paperwork, so we have accurate and current information. If you have printed and completed your paperwork ahead of time, it is still important to arrive a few minutes early to check-in and complete a questionnaire. Your therapist will need to gather information on your limitations and pain. Your appointment can start on time when your paperwork is completed.

2. Bring along any pertinent health information you may have.

  • Prescription your provider may have written for you to receive therapy
  • List of medications, vitamins, and supplements you are currently taking
  • Any reports you may have had taken (x-ray, MRI, CT scans)
  • List of medical conditions, surgeries, or procedures you have had in the past

3. Be prepared to move.

Although your initial visit will include a comprehensive medical history and objective measurement testing and analysis, there will be some time before the end of your visit to perform exercises or demonstrate how you move for your therapist.

4. Dress comfortably.

Regardless of diagnosis, wear loose-fitting clothing, something easy to move in. If you are coming in for knee, hip, or shoulder problems, make sure your clothing is loose enough to pull up enough to expose the joint needing work. We recommend bringing shorts or a t-shirt, so it is easier to access the area. Tennis shoes are also recommended. During the first visit, your walking or movements will need to be assessed. Also, you may perform exercises that are most safely done in sturdy tennis shoes.

5. Bring your questions.

Physical and Occupational Therapists are experts in the musculoskeletal system and have extensive knowledge of how the body works. We can take the time to answer questions you may have regarding your condition and recovery.

Physical Therapist at Freedom Physical Therapy Services
Molly Rittberg received her master’s degree in Physical Therapy in 2007 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and went on to receive her doctorate from Rosalind Franklin University (North Chicago) in 2009. She has since worked in an outpatient orthopedic practice where she worked with patients of all ages, injuries and disabilities. She has a wide variety of experiences including knee, ankle, foot and shoulder injuries, post-operative conditions, spinal rehabilitation and peripheral neuropathies.