Preparing for your first visit with Synergy

A new law (SB 690) will go into effect as of January 1, 2016 that will allow patients to see physical therapists without a referral or prescription from a physician, for up to 21 days or 10 treatment visits. The new law will also allow patients to see a physical therapist directly for injury prevention and fitness promotion, with no time or visit limit. If you have any questions please contact Synergy Physical Therapy Group at 800-281-3237.

Your therapist will ask you a list of questions, that are necessary for the medical history documentation. You can easily prepare for the evaluation and make it more beneficial for you. In preparing for your first visit with Synergy PTG we ask that you take a little time by preparing the following information:

  1. Make a list of questions that you might have so that you can make the best use of your time with the Synergy Physical Therapist.
  2. Make specific notes about your symptom(s). For example:
    • Are your symptoms better or worse with certain activities, movements or positions such as standing, sitting or bending?
    • Are my symptoms more noticeable at a certain time of day?
    • I am able to find relief or temporarily relief when I…….
  3. If you’ve had physical therapy, chiropractic care, etc. in the past please write down the therapies or exercises you did and if they were or were not beneficial.
  4. Be prepared to communicate your life style goals with your Synergy Physical Therapist. For Example:
    • I want to enjoy walking without pain
    • I want to be able to sit for extended periods of time without pain
    • I simply want to reduce the amount of discomfort or pain I am currently experiencing, etc.

What to Expect During Your First Visit

Once you arrive for your first appointment, your physical therapist will first and foremost perform a physical examination and walk you through a very detailed set of questions about your overall health and the specific condition for which you are seeking treatment. This information will then be used by your therapist to help determine whether or not you are likely to benefit from physical therapy, as well as what course of treatment will best address your individual condition.

Depending on your specific symptom(s) and condition(s), your Synergy Physical Therapist will evaluate your physical attributes such as: range of motion, strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, posture, heart rate and respiration and many more . Your Synergy Physical Therapist might use his or her hands on or around the affected area in order to perform a more detailed examination of your joint mobility, muscles, and other tissues.

Your physical therapist also might evaluate:
  • Gait Patterns (The pattern of how a person walks)
  • Functional Activities (How you get up from a lying position or get in and out of a chair)
  • Resting position/sleeping postures
  • Body Mechanics (How you use your body for certain activities, such as bending and lifting )
  • Functional Capacity Evaluation is performed if work restrictions are needed or if patient needs an assessment for disability hearing

Your physical therapist might ask you specific questions about your home or work environment, your health habits and activity level, and your leisure and recreational interests so that the therapist can help you become as active and independent as possible.

Your physical therapist will work with you to determine your goals for physical therapy and will begin to develop a treatment plan specifically designed for you. In most cases, the physical therapist will make a diagnosis and begin treatment almost immediately.

One of the main goals of treatment is almost always to help you to manage the pain better and improve your ability to do your daily tasks and activities. To reach this goal, your physical therapist may need to focus on pain, swelling, weakness, or limited range of motion in your muscles and joints. Your physical therapist will consistently assess your response to each treatment and make adjustments as needed.

One of the most important aspect of your total physical therapy treatment will be education. In most cases, your Synergy Physical Therapist will demonstrate and teach you specialized therapeutic exercises, to do at home in order to help enhance your overall treatment goals. You might learn new techniques or different ways to perform some of the everyday activities you engage in at work and at home. In many cases, small adjustments to the way you perform everyday tasks can help minimize pain, lessen strain, avoid re-injury, and provide long term results.

Throughout the course of your therapy program, your Synergy Physical Therapist will continually evaluate your progress and work with you to plan for your discharge from physical therapy once you have met your therapy goals. Make sure you talk with your Synergy Physical Therapist about what you should do after discharge if you have questions or if your symptoms or condition should worsen.

What to Wear at Physical Therapy:

  1. Shoes
    It is always a good idea to wear sneakers and any orthotic inserts you may wear. Footwear influences how you walk and stand, which in turn, has a direct impact on your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and spine. If you are an athlete, try to bring your sports-specific training shoes.
  2. Pants
    Sweatpants and yoga pants are optimal attire. However, if you prefer to wear pants or jeans please make sure that they are loose and comfortable, allowing you good range of motion. Pants with an elastic waist band are preferred, particularly if the Synergy Physical Therapist needs to assess your low back/sacral region.
  3. Shorts
    Shorts are ideal, especially for patients with knee and/or hip injuries. It allows the Synergy Physical Therapist to better assess leg muscles such as hamstrings, quadriceps, abductors and adductors. Please be aware of the length of your shorts. Given the nature of certain exercises which you might be required to perform, and depending on the type of shorts you intend to wear, it may be in your best interest to wear spandex under your shorts. If you don’t feel comfortable in shorts, feel free to wear sweat pants over your shorts until your Synergy Physical Therapist requests otherwise.
  4. Shirts
    Whatever style you choose to wear, make sure the material is comfortable and does not inhibit movement. If you are a neck or shoulder patient, please consider wearing a loose fitting t-shirt. Your Synergy Physical Therapist will likely need to see your shoulder(s), so make sure your sleeves are loose enough to roll up.
  5. Hair
    If you have long hair, it’s recommended that you please bring a hair rubber band and/or headband.
  6. Jewelry
    Be aware that you may have to remove your jewelry during your physical therapy session, so please plan accordingly.
  7. Braces/Immobilizers/Assistive Devices
    If you wear or have been prescribed a brace, immobilizer, boot, orthotic, or assistive device (i.e. walker, cane, or crutches), it is critical that you bring it to your physical therapy appointment. Your Synergy Physical Therapist needs to ensure the proper fit of your device/orthotic. An ill-fitting device/orthotic can lead to further injury.