3 Tips for Getting The Most Out of Your InReach Physio Appointment
Updated: May 12, 2020
1) Know Yourself
A good portion of your initial assessment will be dedicated to telling your physiotherapist about your injury or the problems you’re experiencing. You will provide some of this information when you fill out your intake form but your physiotherapist will likely ask you to provide more specific details during your appointment. Some things to think about or even write down in preparation for your appointment include:
When did the problem start?
Is it the same, getting better or worse since it started?
Is it your first time having this problem?
Do you have any other symptoms like pins and needles, numbness, giving way, locking, etc.?
What makes the problem worse and what makes it better?
Do you have more pain at night or first thing in the morning?
Have you had any previous treatments?
Have you had any investigations like blood tests, scans or X-rays?
What medications are you taking?
What would you like to get back to doing that the problem is stopping you from doing now?
It is also important to think about your goals. Not only goals of the initial appointment, but also long term goals. This will help to make any assessment and treatment plan more specific and meaningful to you. For example, a common goal often identified is “to be pain free”. Yes, being pain free is a goal but consider the concept of SMART goals - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. Is being pain free attainable or relevant for everyone? Not always. Someone with a 10-year versus a 3-day history of low back pain may have a very different prognosis. Take some time to consider some specific goals you’d like to achieve. An example of a SMART goal could be – “I want to be able to run 5km in two months with less than 2/10 pain in my right knee". Now that sounds like something we can tackle!
2) Prepare Your Space
Choose a private, quiet and well-lit space where you feel comfortable and won't be disturbed.
For assessments involving your back or lower body, your physiotherapist will need to be able to watch you perform some movements with your entire body in view. This requires having your camera set up in a location that allows you to move around and still be seen. If using your phone, a simple tripod (such as this one) can be particularly helpful, otherwise some creativity may be required to set up your phone at an appropriate angle to keep you in view. Check out these cheap, DIY ideas to turn everyday items into simple tripods. For lower body assessments we also recommend having a sturdy dining room chair and possibly the ability to comfortably get down on the floor (carpet or exercise mat). Upper body assessments (head, neck, arms) typically don’t require having your entire body in view, but having a few pieces of exercise equipment, such as dumbbells or resistance bands, can be helpful.
3) Dress for Success
Similar to in-person appointments, we recommend wearing clothes that are comfortable to exercise in and don't restrict your range of motion. For lower body assessments, shorts and comfortable footwear are recommended. For upper body assessments, we recommend women wear a tank. If you have longer hair, putting it in a ponytail will allow your physiotherapist to better view the area.
Don’t worry if you’re unsure that you have everything set up properly - your physiotherapist will be able to guide you and make recommendations during your appointment. If you have any specific questions about how to best prepare for your appointment, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Kennedy, Registered Physiotherapist