What should I wear to my physical therapy appointment?

April 11th, 2019

Most importantly you might want to know what not to wear.  Suits, dresses, and skirts are usually not recommended for therapy.  Comfortable clothing is usually best for physical therapy.  If you are having a neck or shoulder problem ladies may want to wear some type of sports bra to make the area easier to examine.  If you are having low-back problems clothing that will allow your therapist to examine your spine is preferable.  If you are having hip, knee, or ankle problems shorts are a great idea to bring to your first appointment.  Rolling up your pants leg is not preferable when examining the hip or knee as it may distort the shape of your thigh or have a tourniquet effect.  If you are having a neck or shoulder problem and you have longer hair you also might want to bring a ponytail holder.

Clothing to wear to your first and ongoing appointments:

  • All patients are asked to wear loose or form fitting shorts, elastic waist preferred. The shorter the shorts the better, this allows for full visualization of the legs.
  • Females, please wear a bra top (preferable), sports bra with an OPEN BACK (see examples), or bikini top (preferable). Please do NOT wear a racer-back sports bra or any sports bra in which the straps cover the center of the spine in any manner. This is very important. Please search “open back sports bra” in your browser to find a top that works well for you. The spine needs to be visualized optimally. Examples of sports bra styles which will work well for scoliosis/kyphosis physical therapy are provided below:

Below are examples of sports bra back strap styles that do NOT work well for scoliosis/kyphosis specific physical therapy:

  • Footwear should be athletic and comfortable.


  • Long hair will need to be secured into a bun that sits on top of the head, and bangs should be secured with a barrette.