During your first appointment, your physiotherapist will want to gain a proper understanding of the following:
- When your symptoms started
- The exact symptoms you are experiencing now and what it feels like
- Whether you have tried anything to help your symptoms so far and whether it has worked
- Which medications you are taking, if any
- Results of any recent scans or tests you may have had
Your physiotherapist will then examine you:
- They might look at you lying down to start with
- They will observe your breathing in detail – it is important to try and relax at this point and breathe as normally as you can for you. They may put their hands on your chest to feel for movement
- They may have a look at you moving around, for example performing a Sit to Stand Test, or climbing the stairs.
- They will observe vital signs such as your heart rate and oxygen levels.
- They will not do anything that will cause you any pain or discomfort
Depending on your symptoms and the outcome of your assessment, your physiotherapist will introduce the best treatment for you. This may include, but is not limited to:
- Breathing pattern re-education exercises
- Fatigue management strategies
- Pacing, prioritisation and planning strategies
- Symptom and activity tracking
- Heart rate monitoring
- Relaxation strategies
- Gentle physical stretches or exercises
- Your physiotherapist will talk to you about what to practice at home and you will be set up with a programme to follow
- You might be given or emailed some information to refer to at home until your next appointment.
Your physiotherapist will recommend that you are seen again within the next 1-2 weeks
- This is to check you are on the right track – that the treatment programme is being performed correctly and starting to make a difference
- If there are any issues that arise then it is important to fix them early on
- Your physiotherapist may also want to progress your treatment.