What to Expect on Your First Visit

In order for you to receive optimal benefit from your initial visit and evaluation with your therapist it is recommended that you complete your paperwork ahead of time or arrive 10 to 15 minutes early. If you’d like to complete it now, click here to go to our forms page, download and print the forms to bring with you.


Physical Therapy will help you eliminate or manage your pain. It will help speed your healing process, educate you to minimize or prevent further injury and help you to have better mobility and function.

For a non-complex pain or injury problem a patient can expect to participate in Physical Therapy appointments an average of 7 to 12 visits. Typically appointments are scheduled 2 to 3 times/ week depending on the acuity of the injury and the level of pain.

Complex injuries or chronic conditions are expected to take more time to resolve and therefore a series of Physical Therapy visits may take a little longer. Often Therapy appointments are tapered to 1 time/week as goals are met.

Typical Goals Include:
• Full range of motion or movement
• Full function for activities of everyday living
• Reduction or elimination of pain
• Additional goals specific to a patient’s needs and wants

You will meet with your Therapist for close to 45-60 minutes each visit. To facilitate your healing, each appointment may include the following:
Hands On Techniques: Specific region massage, gentle alignment techniques, manual stretching, and joint movement as needed.

Exercises and Stretches: Specific exercises and stretches to avoid weakness in the area and allow for the surrounding healthy body regions to support the healing of the injured area.

Education: Patient education is KEY to optimal healing. Avoiding excessive tissue stress while it heals, understanding how posture and movement can positively or negatively influence the healing outcome, and training stabilization of the region so that subsequent mis-use injury will not occur.
Treatments:These are often used to manage pain, inflammation, swelling, and include:Ultrasound, Iontophorsis, Electrical Stimulation or specific massage technique.

Your initial visit is mostly comprised of the “initial evaluation” that must be completed by your licensed therapist to accurately assess your complaints and design the best treatment plan for your recovery. The Evaluation is a written report that is sent to your physician and is used to communicate with your medical team and is used as an initial starting point to assess future progress. The therapist who performs the initial evaluation is known as the “lead” therapist for the rest of your care with Healing Bridge Physical Therapy. Most of your first “Therapy” appointment will be questions, answers, and movement tests. Along with this your therapist will begin to educate you as to the findings and factors that are contributing to your condition.

Once your therapist has a complete understanding of your condition, the remaining time will be spent initiating treatment. This may be anything from further education regarding your posture or work activities that are aggravating your condition, to the initiation of some exercises and stretches, and possibly the introduction of some hands-on therapy to relieve some of your acute symptoms.

Both the therapist and the patient appreciate the quality of time we spend during every therapy visit, but during the initial visit, the time can pass quickly with so much information to gather. Rest assured, however, that this upfront time is well spent for the quality and accuracy of your future visits and interventions.

Before you leave the clinic, your therapist will discuss your individualized plan with you and begin to determine which of our therapists will provide the best set of skills to assist and direct your recovery. Often, you will be given a “team” of therapists who will work together with you toward your goals of better health.
If at any point during your therapy, you feel your needs are better met by one therapist over the other, we encourage that you communicate this with your “lead” therapist (the one who evaluated you on your first visit), or contact the owner, Allison Suran PT, to arrange appointments with the therapists of your choice.

We encourage patients to schedule appointments up to 4 weeks in advance. This allows you to claim the time slots which work best in your busy schedule, and ensures we have reserved the resources you need. Because our office is usually very busy and the therapist’s schedules can be quite full, this communication is imperative so that we can meet your scheduling and healing needs. But don’t worry! If your recovery happens faster than expected (which is what we aim for!), we can cancel unneeded appointments. We have found this is much easier than to trying to squeeze new ones in.

Follow up visits will be treatment-oriented. Treatment is initially determined at your first visit but continually assessed and revised depending on your feedback and recovery. After 30 days, your therapist will complete a Progress Report to send to your physician. This allows on-going communication between the therapist and the MD. Progress reports are completed periodically to ensure that your treatments are effective, with documented progress of changes in your symptoms and level of functioning.

During the time of your Initial Evaluation and subsequent Progress Reports, goals for your progress are established by your therapist with your participation. When you have met your goals for full recovery it is time for discharge. At your final discharge visit, your therapist will review your progress, your education, and your home program so you can continue your the healthy path.


“ There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that is your own self.” Aldous Huxley