The Importance of Health Checks

The Importance of Health Checks

What Should I Wear To Physiotherapy?

by Roberta Craig

Starting a course of physiotherapy can seem a little daunting, particularly if you feel like you aren't sure what you expect. One of the questions most frequently asked by new physio patients is "What should I wear to my appointments?" You want to find something that will be both comfortable and practical, after all--and there are a few physio-specific concerns.

Wear Something You Can Move In Easily.

You don't necessarily need to wear sports clothes; most physiotherapy is relatively gentle, and even if you're working the affected area pretty hard, you're unlikely to find yourself doing much heavy cardio. Many people choose to wear sweatpants or other sportswear, but if you're most comfortable in a comfortable floaty dress, that's often just fine. The important thing is that whatever you choose needs to be loose and comfortable and not restrain your freedom of movement.

Wear Something That Shows The Affected Area.

Your physiotherapist is going to need to be able to physically see and touch the area of your body that they're working on, and often the areas immediately above and below it as well. There are a few guideline for choosing clothes that will allow them to do this, and they vary by body part:

  • If your therapy is for pain in your neck, upper-mid back or shoulders: You're going to need to remove your top at some point during most of your appointments, so if you wear a bra, it's a good idea to pick one you're okay to be seen by a professional in. If you wear a binder, you're almost certainly going to be asked to remove it, so you might want to discuss your concerns about this with your physiotherapist in advance. If you have long hair, it's a good idea to tie it up.
  • If your therapy is for pain in your arms or hands: Anything sleeveless or with very short sleeves is a good idea here, and again it helps if long hair is tied up. For some problems, it's not impossible that you'll be asked to remove your top, so be prepared for that--especially if your pain is higher up in the arm and more toward the shoulder.
  • If your therapy is for pain in your lower back or hips: It's advised that you wear shorts for a problem in this area, though do bear in mind to wear decent underwear--it's reasonably likely that you'll be asked to remove your lower outer garment
  • If your therapy is for pain in your knees or lower legs: Shorts are again advisable, though if you have a comfortable, practical dress that ends around the knee or above and you'd feel better in that there's generally no reason not to wear it. Do bear in mind however that you might wind up having to tuck it up so your therapist can see your hips and lower back while you move--good underwear is helpful here too.

Wear something you're okay to arrive and leave in without needing to get changed.

Most physios will have a corner you can get changed in, but it's a much better idea to arrive and leave in the outfit you'll be working in during your appointment. Most physio won't leave you sweating like a trip to the gym does, and getting changed will often eat in to your appointment time in a way that could be detrimental to your treatment.


About Me

The Importance of Health Checks

Hello, my name is Liam and I live in Alice Springs, Australia. I work pretty hard every day out on my farm, so it isn't unusual for me to have aches and pains. I hate going to the doctor so I normally pop a couple of painkillers or open a cold beer to deal with the discomfort. However, my wife kept on nagging me to see a doctor, which I eventually did. The doctor at Fidelity Health Choice discovered that I had a rare infection which was causing the pain. After a course of drugs, I fully recovered. I now attend regular appointments. I hope you enjoy my health and wellbeing blog.