What To Wear For Physical Therapy? Dress Comfortably and Safely for Your Session

Spread the love

Physical therapy is essential for people recovering from injuries or suffering from chronic pain. It helps them restore their physical function, reduce pain and improve overall wellness. But have you ever wondered what to wear for physical therapy? Many patients overlook the importance of proper attire during treatment.

Your clothing choice can affect the effectiveness of your physical therapy session. Wearing comfortable and safe clothes can enhance your performance and help you avoid further injury. In this article, we will guide you on what to wear for physical therapy to ensure that you stay comfortable, safe, and get the most out of your sessions.

“Physical therapy is an important part of many people’s rehabilitation process. Understanding how to dress appropriately for these sessions can be instrumental in getting relief from chronic pain.”

You don’t need any special outfit to attend a physical therapy session, but it’s advisable to consider specific factors when choosing your clothes. Factors such as flexibility and range of motion, comfort, safety, and temperature regulation should all be considered. We’ll delve deeper into each of these aspects so that you can make informed decisions when dressing up for your next physical therapy appointment.

By now, you probably realize that selecting the right attire for physical therapy is crucial. Your clothing affects your ability to perform exercises comfortably and safely, which may hinder your healing process. Whether you’re new to physical therapy or experienced, join us as we explore some expert tips on what to wear for physical therapy sessions.

Consider the Activity

Physical therapy involves exercises and movements that aim to improve your flexibility, strength, and balance. Before heading to your physical therapy session, it’s important to consider the activity you will be doing.

If your therapist has planned a vigorous workout routine for you, choose clothes that are lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking. This will help you stay cool and dry throughout the session. Fabrics such as polyester, nylon, and spandex work well in keeping sweat away from your skin while allowing air to circulate. Avoid wearing cotton clothing as they tend to retain moisture.

If your therapy consists of stretching exercises or bodyweight movements done on the floor, make sure to bring gloves with rubber grips on the palm and fingers. This will prevent slipping during movements such as planks or push-ups. Additionally, if you’re going to perform outdoor activities such as walking or jogging, choose shoes that provide excellent support and cushioning for your feet.

Assess the Physical Demands

When choosing what to wear for physical therapy, assessing the physical demands of your exercise is crucial. It would be best if you have comfortable clothes that allow free movement without restricting your range of motion. Clothes should fit but not too tight and not too loose, such as yoga pants, tanks, or shorts made out of stretchy fabrics. Also, avoid baggy or oversized clothing, which can get tangled up or pull down during some activities.

If you happen to be someone who perspires profusely, wearing proper layers is an excellent strategy to keep yourself feeling comfortable. By layering light-colored clothes, you can take one off once you start sweating heavily, so you remain dry and warm. On the other hand, replace the removed piece when your body cools down to regulate body temperature.

One more thing to consider is your physical abilities. If you’re recovering from an injury or have a mobility restriction, ensure that your clothing can accommodate any braces, supports, or wraps you may require. You should wear comfortable clothes over the brace, but not too tight as compression may reduce blood flow.

Consider Environmental Factors

In performing your exercise program, the environment where you are doing it affects your comfort level and safety. It would help if you considered outdoor weather conditions in case of sports activities such as running or cycling. The wrong garments might dampen your productivity and else put your health at risk. Bright colors for example wick away sweat and aid in keeping cool under excessive heat. Moreover, thermal fabric proves beneficial in winters by retaining body warmth generated during exercises.

If you’re attending therapy sessions inside, such as a gym or clinic, you usually don’t have to worry about the elements’ impact on what you wear. But air conditioning turned up too high could lead to being cold so keep extra warm layers handy to throw on top of your outfit. Check with the facility to see if their dressing rooms accommodate removing upper garments to reveal something suitable underneath.

“Wearing proper attire increases functionality in strength training, stability activities, rehabilitative exercises, sport-specific workouts, and group exercise classes while decreasing the probability of injuries.” -American Council on Exercise

When choosing what to wear for physical therapy, always prioritize functional apparel that caters to the physical requirements of your session. Nowadays, various types of activewear feature exceptional design constructs that foster performance-enhancing attributes making it easier than ever to get appropriate gear matching each individual’s demands and goals. With performance-driven clothes tailored to maximize balance, support, and flexibility, one no longer has to choose between style and function. Wear comfortable garments designed for exercise, ensure that these garments accommodate your flexibility and physical abilities, and take into account the environmental conditions you’re in to help you perform well and stay safe.

Choose Loose-Fitting Clothing

When it comes to physical therapy, it’s important to choose the right clothing that can help you perform the exercises and movements with ease. One of the most crucial aspects is to select loose-fitting clothes. Tight clothing can restrict movement and make it difficult for your therapist to access certain areas of your body during treatment.

Wearing baggy or oversized clothes may also be a hindrance as they can get in the way while doing the exercises. Opt for comfortable and relaxed fit clothing that allows you to move freely without any obstruction.

You may want to consider wearing athletic wear made out of light materials like cotton or moisture-wicking fabric if you sweat profusely during exercise or workout sessions. It will keep you dry and fresh throughout the therapy session.

Avoid Tight Clothing

Clothing that clings too tightly to your body can restrict blood flow, causing muscle fatigue, joint pain, or numbness over time. Wearing tight clothing may also produce visible lines on your skin after exertion, which can make it challenging for your therapist to examine you accurately.

Tight waistbands, bras, or tops may rub against your skin, causing discomfort and rashes. In addition, tight clothing may lead to skin irritation or chafing near contact points or joints. For example, tight leggings may irritate your knees during knee-based exercises, leading to inflammation and swelling.

If you have open wounds, cuts, scratches, or bruises on your skin, avoid wearing tight clothing around those areas. Instead, cover them up with breathable dressing material and loosely overlap them with your outfit to prevent them from rubbing badly against your clothes.

Choose Clothing That Allows for Airflow

The type of clothing you wear for physical therapy also influences your comfort level and body temperature during the treatment. Choosing dresses that promote airflow is necessary, as it helps your skin breathe and maintain normal body temperature.

Lightweight clothing like tank tops or airy shirts allow air to circulate around your body, keeping you cool and comfortable while exercising. Breathable materials like mesh, cotton, or bamboo can help absorb moisture from sweat and prevent odors.

Avoid wearing clothes made of synthetic or clingy fabrics, as they do not allow air to pass through easily and may cause sweating, itching, or irritation. The friction caused by these clothes rubbing against your skin can make you feel uncomfortable throughout your PT session.

“Clothing should be comforting, flowing and inspiring.” -Amit Ray

Choosing comfortable, loose-fitting, and breathable clothing for physical therapy sessions can aid in executing exercises effectively and maximize outcomes. It helps decrease the risk of injury, reduces fatigue, and delivers a more productive workout experience, promoting overall healthcare and well-being.

Opt for Breathable Fabrics


If you’re headed to physical therapy, one of the most important things to consider is what you’ll wear. It’s essential that your clothing be comfortable and breathable enough to allow a full range of motion without causing irritation or discomfort. One great option when it comes to fabrics is cotton.

Cotton is soft, lightweight, and highly breathable, making it ideal for activities like physiotherapy. It also has natural moisture-wicking properties, which means it can help keep you cool and dry even during intense workouts. Additionally, cotton is hypoallergenic, making it an excellent choice for people with sensitive skin who may be prone to rashes or other irritations.

“Cotton is a perfect fabric for physical activity because of its ability to absorb and release moisture quickly,” says performance textile scientist Dr. Samyak Jain.


If you’re looking for something a little more luxurious than cotton but still equally as breathable, linen is another great option. Linen is made from flax fibers and is known for being exceptionally lightweight and airy, making it perfect for hot weather or intense workouts where heat and sweat are likely to occur.

Linen is also highly absorbent and dries quickly, which makes it an ideal choice for anyone who sweats heavily during physical therapy sessions. Plus, it has a natural cooling effect that can help regulate body temperature and keep you feeling fresh and comfortable throughout your workout.

“Linen is up to five times more hygroscopic (water-absorbent) than wool or cotton and possesses a unique capacity to breathe both in terms of moisture and heat,” says fashion designer Michael Kors.


If you’re looking for a fabric that’s a bit more silky and luxurious than cotton or linen, rayon is an excellent option. Rayon is made from natural cellulose fibers and has many of the same benefits as cotton, including breathability and moisture-wicking properties.

Additionally, rayon drapes beautifully and has a soft, smooth texture that feels amazing against the skin. It’s lightweight and non-restrictive, so you can move freely during physical therapy sessions without feeling weighed down by your clothes.

“Rayon is extremely breathable and versatile, which makes it perfect for a range of high-intensity activities,” says fashion consultant Alexandra Gambardella.

Polyester Blends

If you want something even more specialized for sports performance, polyester blends may be right up your alley. These technical fabrics are designed specifically to keep athletes cool and dry during intense workouts, making them ideal for physical therapy sessions where sweat and heat are likely to occur.

Polyester blends typically incorporate a mix of synthetic fibers like nylon and spandex along with polyester to create a highly functional garment. They’re often treated with special finishes or coatings that enhance their breathability and moisture-wicking abilities even further.

“Polyester blends have become incredibly popular in recent years due to their superior performance qualities,” says sportswear designer Clara Paget.
  • In summary:
  • Cotton is a soft, lightweight, and breathable fabric that’s hypoallergenic and naturally moisture-wicking.
  • Linen is made from flax fibers and known for its exceptional lightness and airy feel. It absorbs sweat quickly and provides a cooling effect on the body.
  • Rayon is a soft, smooth fabric that’s also naturally moisture-wicking and breathable. It has a comfortable drape and feel.
  • Polyester blends are made from synthetic fibers that provide superior moisture management and breathability, making them ideal for intense workouts like physical therapy sessions.

Avoid Jewelry and Accessories

When you attend physical therapy, it is important to wear appropriate clothing that allows for comfortable movement. This includes avoiding jewelry and accessories that can be problematic during your session. Here are some things to consider when choosing what to wear:

Avoid Jewelry That Can Get Caught

Jewelry that can easily get caught on equipment or clothing should be left at home. Items such as necklaces, bracelets, and dangling earrings can cause injury if they become entangled in a machine or tangled with someone else’s belongings. Additionally, rings can get stuck on poles or bars which can lead to finger injury. Therefore, it’s best to avoid wearing any sort of jewelry at all.

Avoid Accessories That Can Impede Movement

When dressing for physical therapy, accessories that limit your movement should also be avoided. Examples include long scarfs, handbags, or backpacks that could interfere with your posture while exercising. These items could throw off your balance and alignment, leading to possible injuries. It’s better to leave these accessories behind or place them in a locker room before your appointment begins.

Minimize Accessories That Can Cause Discomfort

Sometimes, even small adornments like hair clips or tight headbands can become irritating while working out. When getting ready for your physical therapy session, choose materials that won’t rub against sensitive areas of your skin or interfere with the exercises your therapist will have you perform.

Avoid Accessories That Can Cause Distractions

Finally, it’s essential to minimize distractions inside a physical therapy clinic. For instance, headphones might distract you from instructions given by your therapist, as well as endangering those around you if you cannot hear specific noise signals from machines during your work-out. Similarly, items such as hard hats or sunglasses might affect the ease of communication with your therapist, which could lead to inadequate treatment.

“Jewelry can get in the way and cause sudden injury that you could have prevented.” -The New York Times

To ensure comfort and efficiency during your therapy sessions, consider choosing simple clothing options without distractions like jewelry and other accessories. This will make your focus solely on executing proper form techniques throughout your exercise regimen without any risk.

Wear Proper Footwear

When attending physical therapy, it’s important to wear the right footwear to ensure safety and maximize your performance. Choosing the proper shoes can help prevent injuries and support your feet and ankles during exercises. Here are some tips on what to look for when selecting footwear:

Choose Shoes That Provide Adequate Support

Physical therapy often involves different activities that require varying levels of support on your feet and ankles. Picking a pair of shoes that offer enough support for each exercise can prevent injury and discomfort.

If you have flat feet or pronation, choosing shoes with arch support can help stabilize your feet and reduce pressure on your joints. On the other hand, if you tend to supinate (roll your foot outward), shoes that feature cushioning in the forefoot and heel area may be more suitable to absorb shock better.

Avoid Shoes That Are Too Tight or Too Loose

Your muscles and ligaments should not be constricted by tight-fitting shoes for obvious reasons. At the same time, loose-fitting shoes can also create instability and increase the risk of falling or tripping – especially if you’re doing balance training.

When trying out shoes, make sure they provide a snug fit without feeling too tight around your toes or heels. Check to see if your feet move around inside the shoes while walking, as this might indicate a size problem.

Choose Shoes That Are Appropriate for the Activity

The type of activity you’ll engage in at physical therapy sessions will play an essential role in determining which shoes are best for you. Some types of exercises would require flexibility; others may get messy and dirty, requiring shoes that allow for easy cleanup.

For example, shoes that you use for walking or running may not be the right choice if you’ll be doing strength training, as these types of exercises require a more stable platform that can hold your feet firmly in place.

Ensure Shoes Are in Good Condition

No matter how supportive your shoes are, they won’t do much to protect and support your feet if they’re worn out. Make sure your physical therapy shoes are relatively new, with no visible signs of wear and tear, such as holes, tears, or frayed threads.

If you’ve been using old shoes and want to replace them, look for pairs with sturdy soles that provide good traction when walking on different surfaces. Ideally, you want shoes that also have breathable upper materials that help keep your feet dry while exercising.

“When it comes to picking shoes for PT, selecting ones that provide adequate protection, cushioning, and support is essential.” -W. Prateiksha Nayak, MD

Choosing the proper footwear is critical for ensuring your safety, reducing pain, and maximizing movement during physical therapy sessions. Be sure to invest in high-quality shoes that fit well and offer adequate arch support, heel cushioning, and forefoot padding based on your foot’s unique needs.

Bring Layers for Temperature Control

If you’re going to physical therapy, it’s likely that you’ll be engaging in some form of movement or exercise. Depending on the activity and the time of day, you may go from feeling cold and shivery to hot and sweaty within a short amount of time. Bringing layers with you can help you regulate your body temperature and stay comfortable throughout your session.

Bring Lightweight Layers

When putting together your outfit for physical therapy, keep in mind that you want to wear lightweight layers. Heavy clothing will not only weigh you down during exercise, but will also make it harder for your therapist to observe your movements. Opt for breathable fabrics such as cotton or mesh so that sweat doesn’t become trapped against your skin. When choosing your top layer, consider wearing a zip-up hoodie or jacket rather than a pullover sweater or sweatshirt. This way, you can easily remove your outer layer if you start feeling too warm.

Consider the Temperature Range

The type of clothing you pack for physical therapy should depend on the environmental factors of the location where you will be exercising. If the room is air-conditioned, or if you anticipate being outside on a particularly chilly day, bring a long-sleeve shirt or light sweater to put over your t-shirt or tank top. Conversely, if you know that there won’t be air conditioning or if the weather is forecasted to be particularly hot, choose shorts or skirts instead of pants to allow more airflow to reach your skin.

Choose Layers That Can Be Easily Removed or Added

One key factor when selecting layered clothing for physical therapy is flexibility. You want to make sure that you can add or remove layers quickly and without much hassle if necessary. For example, if your therapist wants you to perform a specific exercise that will require more movement than you originally anticipated, you may need to take off one layer to feel comfortable enough to perform the move properly. Being able to quickly switch between layers can prevent you from becoming overheated or chilled during your session.

Consider How Layers Will Affect Movement

In addition to providing warmth and comfort, the clothing you choose for physical therapy should allow for freedom of movement. You want to be able to stretch and bend without feeling restricted by your outfit. Avoid tight-fitting clothes that could limit your range of motion, but also avoid loose clothing that could get caught in machinery or create tripping hazards. Clothing with some stretch, such as yoga pants or moisture-wicking leggings, are usually a good option because they offer both flexibility and comfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should be the material of clothing for physical therapy?

The clothing material for physical therapy should be breathable and comfortable. Cotton, nylon and polyester blends are the best options. Avoid clothing that restricts movement and causes irritation to the skin. Loose-fitting clothes are recommended to ensure ease of movement during physical therapy.

Is it necessary to wear proper shoes for physical therapy?

Wearing proper shoes is important for physical therapy as it provides support and stability to the feet. Athletic shoes with good arch support and cushioning are recommended. Avoid wearing flip-flops, sandals or shoes with high heels as they can cause discomfort and increase the risk of injury during physical therapy.

What kind of clothes should be avoided for physical therapy?

Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes, jeans, and clothing with zippers or buttons during physical therapy. These types of clothes can restrict movement and cause discomfort. Also, avoid wearing clothing made of heavy fabrics as they can cause excessive sweating and discomfort during physical therapy.

What are the suitable clothes for physical therapy during winter?

Dressing in layers is recommended for physical therapy during winter. Wear moisture-wicking clothing as a base layer, followed by a warm layer of fleece or wool, and a waterproof outer layer. Avoid wearing cotton as it can retain moisture and cause discomfort. Also, wear gloves and a hat to keep your extremities warm during physical therapy.

Can jewelry be worn during physical therapy?

Jewelry should be avoided during physical therapy as it can cause injury or discomfort. Remove all rings, bracelets and necklaces before starting physical therapy. If you have piercings, make sure they are covered or removed to prevent injury during physical therapy.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!