What to Wear to Your First Physical Therapy Appointment


You’ve booked your first physical therapy appointment, and you’re pumped about taking your initial step toward recovery. Still, you’re troubled by the age-old question: “But what do I wear?”

To ensure comfort during therapy, you should wear loose-fitting clothing. Comfortable clothes that allow plenty of room for movement are ideal for your first—and any subsequent—appointments. As for footwear, good supportive shoes—like athletic sneakers—are ideal. Heels, sandals, or dress shoes are a no-no.

Heading to your physical therapy appointment from work? No problem. The clinic or office will provide an area for you to change into your comfortable clothing.

The physical therapist will need visibility of the part of the body he or she is treating. You will want to consider this when you are planning for your visit. For example, if you are coming in for treatment on the knee or leg, you’ll want to wear or bring shorts. If you have longer hair, pulling it up off your neck will allow the therapist to better treat neck alignment issues.

For sports and running assessments, it’s best to wear workout clothes. You also should try to wear the same shoes you normally would wear to run or play sports. That way, you’ll get the most accurate assessment possible.

Are you participating in aquatic therapy? Bring a modest swimsuit, a towel, a cover-up, and flip-flops.

So, as you decide on your first-day-of-therapy outfit, range of motion, visibility of the affected area, and all-around comfort are the key factors you’ll want to consider. Wearing the appropriate clothing will allow your therapist to focus on you—and that, in turn, allows you to focus on getting better.

What are you wearing to physical therapy? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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