What Is Outpatient Physical Therapy?
An outpatient is a patient who receives medical care without being admitted to a hospital. Outpatient appointments often include physical therapy, called “PT” for short. Outpatient physical therapy consists of a series of visits to a clinic in a hospital or to a stand-alone facility separate from a hospital. If physical therapy is recommended by your doctor, a therapist will start by assessing your mobility, balance, posture and how well you can walk or climb steps. From there, your therapist will develop a plan to ease symptoms and help you regain functionality or mobility. Physical therapists provide treatment for those who are experiencing pain or difficulty in functioning, moving or living life normally.
You will receive a comprehensive physical therapy evaluation during your first appointment. The evaluation begins with obtaining a history of your injury and how it affects your daily activities, work, and recreation. In addition, the physical therapist will assess your level of conditioning as well as nerve, muscle, and joint function.
The therapist will evaluate your posture, strength, flexibility and endurance. Treatment plans focus on your goals and restoring functional activities. Depending on your needs, treatment may include mobilization of joints, muscles and connective tissue. Other treatments may include heat, ice, ultrasound, muscle stimulation and traction, therapeutic exercise, manual therapy or tender point dry needling.
In most cases, patients receive an exercise program designed to meet their specific needs on the first treatment visit following . Your treatment will conclude with instruction in self-management strategies that will help you prevent further injury to your neck or back.