10 Ways to Prepare for Your Scoliosis Evaluation
by Caitlin Mari Oliveros PTRP, PT, PF-1, BSPTS -1
Who this article is for:
- People who are preparing for their first scoliosis evaluation
- Parents who are preparing their child for their first scoliosis evaluation
- Physical therapists, healthcare professionals, or anyone interested in learning about scoliosis!
Going to a medical appointment may be (for some) a nerve-wrecking or stressful experience. It is no wonder that some people continue to delay their appointment or even back out of it altogether. However, it is important to know your health status, especially when it is urgent. This post will provide tips on how to prepare yourself for a scoliosis evaluation— hopefully after reading through this, you will feel more confident & book that appointment!
1. Look up some basic information about the clinic
Before making an appointment, you may want to do a quick check of the following:
- Rates & insurance options
- Operation hours
- Parking information
- Special considerations (eg., wheelchair accessibility, non-English speaking providers, etc.)
The more information you are able to gather about a practice, the more easily you can determine if you are a good fit for their services. Some clinics like PhysioElements also offer FREE 15-minute consults to help new clients determine if they are a good fit for the services offered— take advantage of these opportunities to know as much as you can!
2. X-ray, medical reports, other reports
If you are able to provide your x-ray before/during your eval to your physical therapist, they will be able to have a clearer picture of your overall presentation. The x-ray will allow the PT to view structures they cannot see from the plain eye alone. Additionally, other relevant documents, such as other test results, medical reports, and/or other diagnostic images may be useful to bring on your evaluation.
3. Intake forms completed
If you are sent intake forms prior to your evaluation (usually sent through email or online portal), it is best to fill them up before your appointment day. If you are unable to send the form beforehand, it is suggested that you arrive at your appointment early. This will maximize the time you can be seen by your physical therapist, instead of taking up the first 10-15 minutes of your appointment time.
4. Look into your medical & family history
For people with more extensive medical histories, it is best to review the procedures/surgeries, traumas/accidents, hospitalizations, conditions, etc., you currently have or previously experienced. Additionally, looking into your family history can be helpful to determine how prevalent scoliosis or other conditions may run in your family. Printing out your medical/family history may guide you when you are discussing your history with your PT, and you can even leave this guide with them for their reference throughout your plan of care.
5. Medications list
If you are taking a number of medications or supplements, it may be helpful to print/write these out for your PT. It may be helpful to note the name of the medication, the dosage, the frequency of when you take it, who prescribed it, and why you are taking it.
6. List of other medical/health team members
Additionally, you may already be coming in with a team of doctors and other medical/health professionals behind you. Your physical therapist may want to reach out to other members of your team to coordinate and optimize your plan of care. Having the doctor/specialist’s name & title, contact information, & why you see them are good details to note.
7. What to wear
Depending on the clinic, it is best to call the office to ask their attire recommendations for your evaluation. ? Watch out for the upcoming post in this series for a more detailed guide on what to wear to a scoliosis clinic!
8. Brace, other orthotic(s), shoes, etc.
Other items you may want to bring to your evaluation include: braces, shoe lifts, other orthotics, and/or assistive devices (like wheelchairs or canes). If you have foot problems, you can also show your PT the shoes you wear.
9. Questions to ask the client concierge vs the PT
Before your evaluation, knowing who to ask your questions is key to avoid confusion. Some of your questions may be answered by both administrative and clinical sides, but you can refer to the chart below for some examples of questions and who to ask them to:
For example, those relating to:
For example, those relating to:
10. Just show up
Previous negative experiences should not dictate how you feel towards all medical and healthcare workers; there are so many providers who are ready to listen to you and take on your case. You just also need to do your part in doing your own research and trusting your provider.
Hopefully this post will help you feel more prepared and confident as you approach your evaluation or check-up— but the only way you can actually know what is going on with your health is to find out for yourself.
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☎️ If you are interested in scheduling an appointment for your first scoliosis evaluation or to learn more about our services at PhysioElements (both Manhasset, NY & Greenwich, CT), call our office at 516-365-3455. We also offer a FREE 15-Minute Consultation if you would like to connect with one of our physical therapists!