A good physiotherapist will start the assessment the moment you walk through the door. It is possible to pick up on many clues from the way you walk, stand and sit. It is often possible to gain an early indication of the degree of pain you may be suffering and the effect this is having on you.
There are two main parts to the actual assessment. Firstly the spoken (or subjective) part. This is what the patient reports about their condition, how it came about or what the mechanism of injury was. Additionally what type of pain it is and the severity and whether there are any additional symptoms such as pins and needles or numbness. You will be prompted on whether there is any pattern to the symptoms, such as the worst time of day or factors that make symptoms better or worse.
Your responses to these questions can help the diagnosis enormously but can also help with identifying 'markers' by which improvement can be gauged and for setting goals as part of the rehabilitation.
All the questions you are asked have a particular point to them and the more specific you can be then the better the quality of the assessment is likely to be. It can be useful if you can think about your symptoms in the lead up to assessment or even make a symptom diary.
The physical/visual (or objective) part of the assessment follows the subjective. It too is useful not only for diagnosis but also for setting goals and having markers by which to gauge improvement. It will include the patient being asked to move themselves and also being moved by the physiotherapist. The physiotherapist will also conduct tests specific to that area/joint or for that type of injury. It is likely tests of power will be included together with palpation of the injured area.
At hertsphysio we will ensure that this process is as comfortable an experience as possible.
We ask that patients bring appropriate clothing to their session so that the therapist can assess easily (eg. Shorts, vest). We also ask that patients bring along any previous scans or reports if possible, as these may help diagnosis.