What Happens at the Initial Assessment?
Your initial consultation and treatment will last for 60 minutes and any follow up will be 30 minutes. At your initial consultation your physiotherapist will ask you lots of questions about your symptoms, including any previous medical problems and any medication you may be taking so they can make an informed diagnosis.
They will then ask to assess the problem area. To assess you properly the treating physiotherapist will need to observe the affected area(s) and this will normally require you to remove an appropriate level of clothing (but never your underwear). Be prepared to remove upper garments for neck, upper back or shoulder problems and for lower limb (leg) problems, to remove lower garments. Please bring a pair of shorts to the assessment with you if you need to remove lower garments. For people with lower back pain, it is important that your physiotherapist can see the whole of your spine and legs, or problems contributing to your symptoms may not be picked up.
Please let your physiotherapist know at any time during your consultation if you feel unhappy exposing any part of your body. At any time, prior or during the assessment you can ask for it to be stopped. You are welcome and encouraged to ask any questions so you remain fully informed at all times.
According to your wishes the assessment can be modified. After you have been assessed, your physiotherapist will tell you what problems they feel are contributing to your symptoms and propose a plan for treatment. Your physiotherapist will explain their reasoning for the proposed treatment plan, giving you options for going forward with treatment. An example of a treatment plan may include "hands on treatment" or an individual exercise programme. Although many of the treatment techniques that a physiotherapist use and suggest are unlikely to worsen your symptoms, some may result in some temporary soreness.
Other procedures such as acupuncture and manipulative therapy can carry some risks - your physiotherapist should offer potential benefits, risks and alternatives. Your decision whether to agree to treatment (or not) will not impact upon your care in any way. Once you have given your consent further appointments will then be arranged, at a time convenient to you, wherever possible, to allow you to continue with your treatment.