What should you wear to your physical therapy appointment?

Physical therapy

Before you go for your first physical therapy session, you may feel some sort of anxiety about what to wear. Deciding what to wear to a physiotherapy appointment can be confusing especially if it is your first time. Getting it right will make a world of difference to your experience.

What to expect during your first appointment

Your first appointment starts with an in-depth conversation, as your physiotherapist will want to know you and ask you a few questions to determine the cause of your health issues. A physiotherapist will ask you about your medical history, the cause of your injury or pain, its duration and severity, and other relevant pieces of information. You should take advantage of this time to ask questions so that you can fully understand how your treatment will unfold.

You should then complete a full assessment of your pain or injury areas to find a proper diagnosis and determine your strength, mobility, and any limitations you could be experiencing.

The best type of clothing to wear

When choosing which clothes to wear to your first physiotherapy appointment, you should ensure you wear loose and comfortable clothing that does not restrict movement. The clothing you wear should allow access to your specific pain or injury area. Your clothing should not limit your ability to move your knees, shoulders, spine and hips, so that your physiotherapist can get a clear idea of your range of motion.

If your physical therapy session involves moving your upper body, you should consider wearing tank tops or short sleeve flexible shirts. Regular length shorts are an excellent option.

Dresses, skirts, and long trousers are not good options. You must be able to move around whilst remaining comfortable. You should also wear warm socks, depending on your local clinic. Sometimes, you will be asked to remove your footwear and depending on the temperatures inside the clinic, your internal body temperature, you could have cold feet.

You should also wear comfortable footwear like running shoes or other types of sneakers you prefer. Your physiotherapist may ask you to perform gentle exercises in your future appointments so it is crucial to have good support. Your physiotherapist may also ask you to remove your shoes so you need to ensure that your shoes are easy to remove.

However, it is important to understand that not everyone will be able to come to a physiotherapy clinic straight from home, so you should plan ahead and pack a change of clothes if you are coming from work or elsewhere.

What to wear for your shoulder?

If you are booking a physiotherapy appointment because of shoulder pain or injury, you should wear a tank top with a loose sweater or jacket if it is cold. This will enable you to remove the jacket if your physical therapist needs to have a closer look and you will still have a full range of motion.

Whatever you wear, ensure it is comfortable, easy to take off and put on, and know that your physiotherapist will protect your modesty as much as possible.

Written by Guest Contributor Rachel Sykes