What Do I Wear To Physio?
A common question we receive when someone is new to Physiotherapy is ‘what do I wear to a Physiotherapy consultation?’ This short blog will give you an outline of what to wear to an active rehabilitation class or Physiotherapy consultation to ensure you and your Physio are comfortable and can work effectively.
Comfort is key. Wear your typical clothing that you will feel most comfortable in. Wear what you normally wear, so if you don’t usually wear shorts or tights or singlets don’t feel the need to wear this. Our first priority is to have you feeling comfortable.
This being said there are additional elements that are particularly beneficial depending on what you are seeing the Physiotherapist for. It is important as part of the consultation that the Physiotherapist be able to view the injured or painful area and often the joint above and below to provide a thorough assessment, diagnosis and inform treatment. Viewing the areas can give valuable information on swelling, muscle loss, asymmetries, skin changes that all aid diagnosis guide management. For example if you have a painful knee joint the physiotherapist will often like to be able to observe your thigh and calf muscles for muscle loss and view potential swelling around your knees or ankles.
Diagnostic tests: the Physiotherapist will often require the ability to see and move your knee freely. Therefore it is often helpful to be wearing shorts. If you are not one to wear shorts normally then you can bring a pair with you to change into or the Physiotherapist can provide you with a clean pair to wear during the consultation. Designated change areas are available.
Similar to what we have spoken about above; assessment and treatment of the shoulder and elbow, commonly requires visibility of the shoulder and shoulder blades. Looking at shoulder blade mechanics can provide valuable information about contributing mechanics or movement patterns influencing pain at the shoulder or further down the arm. This means for most upper limb assessments and treatment of back pain you may be asked to remove your shirt. For women wearing an appropriate bra such as a sports bra therefore can be most appropriate. Draping with towels is a common occurrence to assist in maintaining modesty and feeling comfortable through all aspects of assessment and treatment.
For an active rehabilitation class it is best to wear comfortable exercise clothing as you are likely to work up a sweat and need to move freely. This can include a range of clothing options, however typically it is best to avoid wearing jeans, trackpants or other restrictive clothing. To maintain modesty it is also advisable to avoid wearing dresses or skirts.
Overall we ask that you dress comfortably and use your best judgement. The consult can always be modified depending on your choices and preferences. We ask that you consider wearing or bringing shorts if you are seeking treatment for an injury at the hips down, and wear appropriate underclothing for back and upper limb injuries. We commonly keep spare shorts available and have available change spaces.
Your Physiotherapist is always happy to discuss with you additional details to ensure professional and respectful management.
Lewis Craig (APAM)
Masters of Physiotherapy
Featured in the Top 50 Physical Therapy Blog