The examination consists of a series of orthopedic, neurological and functional tests to help the doctor assess the health and function of your muscles, joints, and nerves of the body. You may be asked to put on a pair of shorts, a tank top or a gown so the doctor can better examine the area of chief complaint.
The 4 main goals of the history and examination are to:
1. Rule out serious or non-musculoskeletal problems
2. Identify the pain generating structure(s)
Once the doctor rules out that your problem is related to the musculoskeletal system they will begin to determine which joint, muscle, nerve, tendon or ligament is responsible for the presenting condition. Rarely is there one specific structure that is the problem. More commonly, several related tissues have become dysfunctional and are responsible for the pain and discomfort.
3. Identify the underlying dysfunction
It is insufficient to stop at just identifying the tissue causing pain. In order to fully resolve the symptoms and prevent the condition from recurring in the future we must determine why that tissue has become strained. This requires the examination of not just the area of symptoms but of the function and biomechanics of other muscles and joints of the body as a whole.
4. Identify any perpetuating factors
Often simple activities such as sitting incorrectly, poor workstation ergonomics, and improper shoes can exacerbate and prevent full recovery. These factors need to be identified and corrected through simple education and activity modification to take the strain off the problematic tissues.
Next, the doctor will discuss findings of the examination with you. Click on the link below to find out what to expect.