Part 3: The Physical Testing
Note: When i originally wrote part 3, it ended up quite a bit longer than I was expecting, so I’ve actually split it into 2 parts, the first of which you’re reading here and the second, which will be posted tomorrow.
Now that your physiotherapist has completed the medical history and has been observing you non-stop, it’s time to move on to the physical testing.
This is where the massive amounts of information from the the former two components are digested, analyzed and tested more rigorously. This is where those theories ruminating in our minds about what may be ailing you or what may be stopping you from your optimal level of performance are challenged, supported or rejected.
The physical testing will form the active part of your rehab or performance treatment. Unfortunately, this may also be the part of your visit that could cause discomfort or recreate your pain. This should be short lived and in the interest of gaining as much information about your situation as possible which will be used to create your treatment plan to get you out of pain and back to function.
There is typically a structured order by which we take our clients through the process so that we may gather the most pertinent information in a logical sequence. That being said, there is no one ideal method of running through a physical examination and you may find that various practitioners will have different approaches to testing for the same information.
In the end, it’s not so much how the information is gathered that matters most.
What matters most is what’s done with it.
That will ultimately make the positive or negative impact on your health or performance status.
Before I break down the physical testing, here’s my caveat: this is by no means an exhaustive or comprehensive discussion on the subject. This is merely a VERY brief overview to give you a basic understanding of why we do what we do and what we hope to achieve by doing it.
For the sake of brevity, I’ll be focusing tomorrow’s blog post on 3 areas:
1. Rage of Motion (ROM) (active, passive, joint play)
2. Strength (RIM, MMT, movements: squats, lunges, etc)
3. Special tests
Yours in movement.