During your first appointment, the physiotherapist will ask you a lot of questions about your current complaint. The questions are designed to provide the therapist with information regarding the cause, the severity and the nature of your problem. By asking you about the things that aggravate and ease your symptoms, we can build an accurate picture of how your problem is affecting you, and what the problem is likely to be.

The physiotherapist will also enquire whether you have any previous history of this, or any related problems, and what treatments or investigations, if any, you may have previously had.

The physiotherapist will ask you about your medical health, including both past, present and family health matters. This is very important to ensure we make an accurate diagnosis of your problem, and also to ensure safe selection of treatments for you. We will need to know of any current medications you are taking, and also any significant use of particular medicines in the past.

You will be asked about your lifestyle - in terms of occupational and family demands, stresses and strains that are particular to you, and your sporting and leisure interests.

The physiotherapist will then want to complete a full examination of the area, and surrounding areas relating to your problem. The examination will look at movements and strength of the problem area, in addition to special tests to examine the ligaments, cartilage, joints and nerves as applicable.

Following the examination, you will be advised of the diagnosis of your problem, and you will have full opportunity to ask any questions. The physiotherapist will discuss the options for treatment and you will be able to discuss the merits of each.

There is usually time during your initial assessment to provide local treatment, and you will be advised of actions to take before your next visit, in addition to advice and exercises to do at home, and at work to facilitate your recovery.

We would hope that following your initial appointment you will possess the following information:

  • The clinical impression of your condition
  • What physiotherapy can do to help you
  • What you can do to help yourself
  • How long your recovery may take