The Physical Exam, also known as the objective assessment. The purpose of the physical exam is to physically check which structures may be causing the symptoms and also to confirm our diagnosis from the interview. In most cases, the Physiotherapist should have reached pre diagnosis and will use the objective assessment as a final test to confirm their findings. In complex and chronic cases, it is at times not possible to reach a diagnosis within the first session. Each Physiotherapist will have their own way of conducting the Physical exam. My personal preference is to start observing how the patient sits, walks into the treatment room, fascial expressions and behaviour throughout the session well before we even start the physical exam. Once the physical exam starts, there are certain things I will check for. These can include: movement within the joint, strength testing, special tests etc Although not essential, if a patient has brought in with them scans and other medical reports, I will often sit with them and explain what this medical jargon actually means. Not only does this assist the patient’s understanding of their problem, it also increases their trust in you. Once all this is done, I will then explain to the patient what I found during the physical exam, what this means and how we are going to treat this problem.
Ajit Singh Lamba