What to Expect in Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a form of rehabilitation that helps individuals recover from injuries, illnesses, or chronic conditions through targeted exercises and other techniques. The specific goals and treatments involved in physical therapy may vary depending on the individual’s condition and the therapist’s approach, but here are some common things to expect:

  1. Initial assessment: Your physical therapist will first perform an initial evaluation to determine your current physical abilities, limitations, and areas of pain or discomfort. They will also ask about your medical history and any previous treatments you may have had.
  2. Treatment plan: Based on the results of the assessment, your physical therapist will develop a customized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and goals. The plan may include various exercises, stretches, manual therapy, modalities such as heat or ice, and education about lifestyle modifications.
  3. Active participation: Physical therapy is a collaborative process, and you will be asked to actively participate in your own treatment. This may involve performing exercises at home between sessions, following recommendations for lifestyle changes, and being honest with your therapist about your progress and any concerns.
  4. Progress tracking: Throughout the course of your physical therapy, your therapist will monitor your progress and adjust your treatment plan as needed. They may use various assessment tools and measurements to track changes in your physical abilities and pain levels.
  5. Gradual improvement: Physical therapy is often a gradual process, and progress may not always be immediately noticeable. However, with consistent effort and commitment, you can expect to see improvements in your physical abilities and a reduction in pain over time.

It’s important to note that every individual’s experience with physical therapy may be different, and the specific techniques used may vary based on the individual’s condition and the therapist’s approach. It’s always best to consult with a licensed physical therapist to understand what to expect from your specific treatment plan.


Rob Dykeman PT DPT