What to Expect at Your First Physiotherapy Appointment

Your first physiotherapy appointment might sound daunting at first, especially if you’ve never been to one before. Maybe your doctor recommended physiotherapy. Or perhaps a friend suggested it after you experienced a nagging and persistent injury. 

Whatever the case may be, we’re here to help you calm those nerves.

Visiting a physiotherapist is an excellent way to enhance function, improve strength, increase flexibility, and generally, feel better after pain or injury has happened. A physiotherapist can help you get back to your sport of choice or help you get back to your favourite activities, free from pain and without worry of re-injury.

So, let’s get down to it. What should you expect at your first physiotherapy appointment?

Before You First Appointment

So, you’ve scheduled your very first physiotherapist visit. Now what?

It’s time to plan ahead!

Before your physiotherapy appointment, make sure you plan to arrive about 10-15 minutes before. This allows adequate time for you to fill out any new patient intake forms, insurance information, or questionnaires. 

Generally, you also want to wear loose and comfortable clothing. For example, as part of your initial assessment, you may need to walk or squat while your physiotherapist observes your movement patterns. Wearing loose and comfortable clothing makes this that much easier. 

Before your appointment, it’s also important to make sure you properly hydrate yourself and eat a small meal or snack.

During Your First Appointment

Your first appointment consists of an initial assessment. This is where your physiotherapist will test your strength, flexibility, function, gait, reflexes, and more to properly diagnose the issue and determine an appropriate treatment plan. They may also use palpation techniques to assess the injured or affected area.

Typically, this assessment lasts for at least 60 minutes. Along the way, feel free to ask any questions you might have. Your physiotherapist will communicate the entire time, often coming to a conclusion toward the end of your assessment. 

From there, your physiotherapist diagnoses your condition or injury. They will let you know when and how often they expect to see you. They may also offer up a general timeline regarding what you can expect when it comes to making a full recovery. 

After Your First Appointment

On your way out from your initial appointment, you can book any follow-up appointments you require.

In the days that follow, you may also feel quite sore, depending on the different tests that were completed during your assessment. This is only temporary. Any soreness should subside in about 24-48 hours. During this time, make sure you keep your body properly fuelled and hydrated, since this can help dissipate any lingering soreness.

In your next appointments, your physiotherapist will deliver treatment to help address your complaint. Treatment may involve:

  • Manual therapy techniques
  • Prescribed exercises
  • Heat therapy
  • Cold therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Stretching
  • Modalities
  • And more.

Most follow-up appointments are between 30-45 minutes. Depending on your pain or injury, the number of follow-up appointments you need may vary. 

At Corydon Physiotherapy, our team strives to offer the most comfortable and friendly physiotherapy experience in Winnipeg. From the moment you walk in our doors, we treat you like part of the family. 

If you’re ready to book your first physiotherapy appointment, you can do so by calling us at (204) 925-0380, emailing us at corydonp@mymts.net, or by using our self-serve online booking system.

Kelly Milan, BMR, PT, Cred. MDT
Kelly Milan, BMR, PT, Cred. MDT

Kelly graduated from physiotherapy at the University of Manitoba in 1991. He joined The Corydon Physiotherapy Team in 1991 and became the director and owner in 1997. He sold the Clinic to Melanie and Garret Klos, physiotherapists on April 1, 2019. Kelly is happy to be able to focus on full time patient care now. Kelly always had a special interest in physiotherapy since his teen years when his father had physiotherapy for a shoulder injury.

Kelly completed his credentialling examination and is certified in McKenzie mechanical diagnosis and therapy of the spine (2002). Writing articles and research has always been a special interest. Kelly has published articles and reviewed publications in peer-reviewed international physiotherapy journals including "The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy" and “The Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Clinics of North America”. He also contributed to an international study on physiotherapy for back pain. Educating employees in house with injury prevention has also been a pursuit.

Kelly’s continued professional goals include:

  • Creating an exceptional environment for patient care.
  • Serving the physiotherapy community through many professional committees with the College of Physiotherapy and The Manitoba Physiotherapy Association.
  • Kelly served on the Manitoba Physiotherapy Association’s board as Chair of The Business Affairs Committee from 2005 to 2013 and past Chair of the Manitoba Physiotherapy Association/Manitoba Public Insurance Liaison Committee.
  • Constantly pursuing knowledge and training in order to provide exemplary patient care
  • Contributing further to clinical research, to help further prove the value of physiotherapy. Please visit our Health Blog and "For Health Professionals" to review valuable articles demonstrating physiotherapy effectiveness.

Kelly enjoys cycling to work (from Easter to Remembrance Day) and recreation with his three children ages 18, 20 and 22. He also enjoys downhill and cross country skiing in MB and B.C. and summer time fun at Riding Mountain National Park with his family and partner Deana. Kelly has also continued to play drums with bands since age 12 (his drummer idol is John Bonham).

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