Preparing For Your First Physical Therapy Visit

  • Make a list of any questions that you have, to make the best use of your time with your physical therapist.
  • Write down any symptoms you've been having and for how long. If you have more than one symptom, begin with the one that is the most bothersome to you.
  • Make a list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements that you are taking.
  • Make a note of any important personal information, including any recent stressful events, injuries, incidents, or environmental factors that you believe might have contributed to your condition.
  • Consider taking a family member or trusted friend along to help you remember details from your own health history and to take notes about what is discussed during your visit. 
  • Bring any lab, diagnostic, or medical reports from other health care professionals that may be related to your medical history or who have treated you for your current condition.
  • Download and print New Patient Paperwork HERE. Fill this out and bring to your appointment to save time.


What to Bring:

• Doctor's Order for PT

• New Patient Paperwork

• Insurance Card(s) 

• Driver's License 

• Deductible or Co-pay Payment

• Imaging or Test Results from Doctor

• Operative Note

• Current Medication List

• List of Questions for PT

• List of Symptoms


What to Wear:

  • workout or comfortable clothes that allow you to move
  • closed toe, athletic shoes


Think about which areas our PTs and PTAs will be treating

  • shoulder patients should wear a tank top or loose fitting shirt
  • knee patients should wear shorts or loose fitting pants



What to Expect During Your First Visit:

Your physical therapist will begin by asking you lots of questions about your health and the reason for your visit. Remember that list of symptoms? This is where it comes in handy! The information you give your physical therapist on the first day will help your PT determine which treatments are most likely to help you.



Detailed Examination

Depending on your symptoms and condition, your physical therapist might evaluate your strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, posture, blood pressure, and heart and respiration rates.

Your physical therapist might use his or her hands to examine or "palpate" the affected area or examine your mobility.

Your physical therapist also might evaluate your gait, functional activities, and body mechanics.



Often, your physical therapist will begin treatment on day one. This treatment might include hot or cold packs, electric stimulation, or ultrasound.

Your physical therapist will work with you to determine your goals for physical therapy and will begin to develop a plan for your treatment. 

Your physical therapist will constantly assess your response to each treatment and will make adjustments as needed.


Home Exercise Program

An important aspect of your physical therapy treatment is education.

That why our motto, at Wilhoite Physical Therapy, is "Treating for Today, Teaching for Tomorrow"

Your physical therapist will develop a home exercise plan specifically for you. He or she will review these exercises with you and explain how often to perform these exercises at home, in coordination with your PT visits.  


Accepted Insurance Carriers

Please contact our office if you have a question about insurance coverage.


Financial Responsibility

Our office staff should review your insurance benefits with you prior to your first visit and explain your financial responsibility. 

  • There are often deductibles, co-pays or co-insurance, visit limits, and authorization hurdles to navigate when you begin physical therapy sessions.
  • If the frequency of visits needs to be adjusted for financial reasons, discuss this with your physical therapist and our office staff. Together, we can explore alternatives and develop a workable plan.
  • If you change insurance plans or lose insurance coverage for any reason, be sure to inform your therapist as well as the clinic’s front office staff.

If you have any questions about your financial responsibility please ask our staff for more information or for further explanation. We are here to help you!

After Your Visit 

Your physical therapist will communicate the important information from your examination to your physician or surgeon.

Follow your personalized Home Exercise Program (HEP) that you receive at the end of your first visit. Most often, you will be instructed to perform your HEP twice a day on days you do not attend physical therapy and once a day on days you do attend physical therapy. Ask your physical therapist or physical therapy assistant if you have questions about your HEP.

Your physical therapist will continually recheck your progress and work with you to plan for your discharge from physical therapy, when you are ready. Make sure you talk with your physical therapist about what you should do after discharge if you have questions, or if your symptoms or condition worsen.