Phone: 613-672-2200

What to Wear for Physio? Everything You Need to Know

It's best to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to physiotherapy sessions that allows for ease of movement and access to the areas being treated.

Meeting, assessing, and treating clients is what Physiotherapists do on a daily basis.

If this is your first physical therapy appointment, let us guide you, and explain what will happen and what you will need to wear for your session.

We want you to get the most you can out of your Physio appointment. Arriving prepared and ready to be assessed will allow you to gain the maximum benefit from your physical therapy session. Correct clothing is important. Your clothing allows for comfort and thorough assessment.

Physical therapy addresses the illnesses and injuries that limit a person's abilities to move and perform functional activities.

Physical Therapists use the persons history to establish a plan and diagnosis to get a thorough understanding of how we can best help you and work together.  It’s like a first appointment with your doctor.

The next step in your first appointment, will be for your physical therapist to do an objective assessment.

This will involve showing us the part of the body that is injured and performing movement-based tests.

The last part of the initial appointment is likely to involve some treatment on your body. This could involve release of your muscles, stretching or taping. Some of these treatments may require your physical therapist to use their hands on your skin.

To be best prepared for the Physio assessment or treatment, wearing clothes that you can change into and out of quickly makes good sense!

Physical Therapy treatment usually includes hands on therapy in the form of release of muscles and joints, exercises, and sometimes use of modalities such as acupuncture, dry needling, heat or cold, taping, or other interventions.

Physical therapists provide treatment when movement and function are limited.

What is the best type of clothing to wear to my Physiotherapy appointment?

For your first appointment, shorts underneath pants and a sweater work very well in the winter.

In summer, a loose top and pants or shorts work well for your physical therapy appointment.

what to wear for physio

What to Wear to Physio for a Hip?

We recommend wearing a loose t-shirt and shorts or loose pants that are easy to move in for your first appointment to maximize the benefit of your physical therapy session.

For your treatment, clothes that you can easily move in are best. Typically, in hips, your Physio will treat you through and around your clothing, but shorts or mobile loose pants make this easiest.

What to Wear to Physio for a Knee?

For your first physical therapy appointment for a knee, loose cropped pants, or shorts, not longer than mid length shorts are convenient. By wearing these pieces of clothing, your physical therapist will be able to see your knee and ankle fully to allow for a thorough assessment of your pain points.

For women wearing leggings, shorts or even a skirt or dress with shorts under it can be effective. Your Physio will have to move your leg around in different directions, so you would want to make sure you are covered under a skirt or dress.

physio shorts

What to Wear to Physio for a Shoulder?

Generally, your Physio will try to assess your shoulder through any clothing in the area, such as a t-shirt. It is best to wear something with the shortest sleeves possible and not a tight, button up dress shirt with no mobility in it.

You may be asked to undress to your waist, with females being provided with a gown on top. For this reason, females are advised to wear a suitable bra for their Physio session. Tank tops that allow a full view of your shoulder can be an excellent idea and prevent the need for removal and gown use.

Males can wear a loose t-shirt for a shoulder assessment that allows your shoulder and muscles to move. You may also be asked to remove it for short intervals to fully assess it. tops

What to Wear for Physio for Neck and shoulder pain?

For your first Physio therapy session for the upper body it’s best to wear a loose-fitting top with no restrictions such as a tank top, t-shirt, or loose sweater.

You may discuss options with your physical therapist.

tank tops

What to Wear to Physio for the Ankle?

If you're booking a Physiotherapy appointment for an ankle, or foot injury, we recommend you avoid tight clothes or high heels.

Choose clothes that can be rolled up to expose your knee, while still giving you a good range of motion of the knee joint.

What to Wear to Physio for Your Back?

If you're booking a Physiotherapy appointment because of back or hip pain or injury, we recommend wearing a loose-fitting shirt and pants or shorts giving you full range of motion in your back for your first visit.

track pants

What to Wear to Physio for Lower Back?

For your first Physiotherapy appointment for a lower back injury, we recommend you choose clothes that you can move in and can easily expose your back if your Physio needs to look at it.

Wearing clothes, you wear regularly, and you know are suitable loose fitting clothing that will allow blood flow are a good dress code.'s pants

Footwear For Your Physio Appointment

The best footwear for your Physio appointment is sports shoes or room shoes that don't restrict movement. Dress shoes are not recommended but can be removed.

You will want to wear shoes that enable you to perform exercises in your physical therapy session. You should wear athletic shoes or exercise footwear.

Your Physio may even want to look at the wear pattern on the bottom of your shoes, so you should bring the ones you regularly use.

shoes wear pattern

Do I have to undress for Physio?

In general, your Physio will try to assess you through and around your clothes and use gowns as needed to be able to assess covered areas while keeping you comfortable.You may not have to undress at all, if you wear clothes that are suitable, such as shorts, loose fitting pants, a loose t-shirt, or tank top.

It is a good idea if you’re coming from work and wearing tight clothes or tight pants to bring a change of clothes with you. There will be time and private space to change.

We do not want you to feel uncomfortable in any way and only require you to dress or undress in a way that is comfortable. You may also bring a family member with you for your treatment.


Your first physical therapy session is a physical assessment that is designed to determine the best treatment for you.

Your therapist will have patients health and wellbeing as their priority. Therapists want to relieve hurting muscles and pain in your body.

Your therapist will assess and provide physical therapy treatment that is specific to each patient. Your Physio will work on their patients body muscles and joints and have them perform exercises. Each session should contribute to your recovery from pain or injury and return to health.

Patients will want to wear the correct clothing including things like tank top, loose fitting pants, shorts, loose t-shirts etc.

Here are a final few tips for you. Don’t wear anything you feel uncomfortable in. Not everyone will have the same needs. Light layers are always a good idea. It's a good idea to change out of your work clothes and not to wear your best clothes. Sometimes oils are used and it’s best not to wear anything that may stain or is delicate.

Clothing that does not restrict movement is always best.

Women's shorts

Related Articles

January 19, 2024
Sarah Peters - BKIN(CH), R.KIN, CAT(C)
January 19, 2024
Sarah Peters - BKIN(CH), R.KIN, CAT(C)
January 19, 2024
Sarah Peters - BKIN(CH), R.KIN, CAT(C)

Contact Us

Your message has been received.
We will get back to you within 24 hours.
Oops! Something went wrong.