Your First Appointment
What to Expect at Your First Appointment and Beyond
It can be intimidating to attend a physiotherapy session - unsure of what to expect - we hope to answer some common questions here.
This is a broad, non-specific outline. Each patient is unique, and an individualized approach is taken every time. These are generalizations- some, none, or all of these components may be part of your initial assessment based on your specific needs and comfort levels:
Consent: The entire process will be explained at the beginning of your appointment and your consent will be asked to discuss your history and do a physical examination. You always have the right and the opportunity to withdraw or deny your consent for any or all of the assessment or treatment plan. Nothing will ever be done without your permission.
Questionnaires/Forms: You will receive an email with several questionnaires/forms to print off and fill out ahead of time to bring on your FIRST appointment. If you do not have a printer, please let us know and we can mail you a copy. Although they seem extensive, these forms are VERY IMPORTANT to complete as they make sure that we take every piece of your history into account and we have a complete understanding of you as a person. This ensures you receive the best care that addresses all of your issues and that we maximize our efficiency together in the clinic to get you better faster. Every questionnaire has a purpose and we will be covering all of these questionnaires and their results in your visit.
History/Interview: Every person has a unique story and we want to hear yours! Obtaining a thorough history and understanding of not only your health/symptom history, but who you are as a whole person, helps us to understand your unique situation and individualize your care. We can't wait to hear about you!
Physical Examination: A physical exam where you are performing movements, or the therapist is performing movements with you or examining the state of external or internal muscles, will occur with your permission. This can often include (but is not limited to or always includes):
Internal Pelvic Floor Muscle Examination (vaginal and/or rectal) through internal palpation
External musculature and connective tissue examination through external palpation
Strength assessment of internal and external musculature
Internal Pelvic Floor Muscle Examination: A pelvic floor muscle examination through hands on internal palpation using one or two digits is used to determine the state of the pelvic floor muscles and may be an important part of your assessment. Without this, it is an estimate/guess of what is going on in these tissues. An internal exam allows us to pinpoint exactly what may be happening in the muscles and target/tailor your treatment appropriately. An internal examination is safe for most people, and is important for anyone presenting with bladder, bowel, pelvic floor symptoms, pelvic pain, prolapse, low back pain, hip pain, groin pain, sexual pain/dysfunction, menstrual pain, gynecological conditions/diagnosis and pregnancy/post-partum issues. With all parts of an exam, consent is required, and if you are uncomfortable with this, please discuss this with your therapist and alternative options will be provided. Your therapist will discuss the risks/benefits/alternatives to you during your assessment if a pelvic floor muscle exam is indicated in your case before proceeding to ensure your comfort and informed consent.
Education: We believe in empowering you with all the knowledge and tools that we can. At minimum, you will leave your assessment knowing:
What we think may be going on
What we can do to help you
What you can do to help yourself
Time frame and endpoints for your recovery
Home Exercise Program Self-efficacy and the knowledge, skills, and tools to be able to manage and promote your own health is our ultimate goal. You will be provided with home exercises (stretches, relaxation, strengthening, etc) to do daily to promote your recovery. These are more important than anything else!
Treatment Tools: After a thorough assessment and understanding of your health, there are a variety of tools, exercises and treatment approaches that may be used in your care. Some of these include: education, internal and external manual muscle release, connective tissue release, bladder and bowel retraining/programs, movement/range of motion, exercise programs, stretching, strengthening, central nervous system desensitization, meditation, relaxation strategies, diet and lifestyle strategies, stress management, sensory awareness training, and balance training, to name just a few!
Call or email to book your appointment!