The Physical Assessment
In my three previous blogs on physiotherapy assessment
I discussed concepts and steps which for most will not have been considered and most will have assumed that the physical assessment was the first step.
That is the mistake that so many make, missing out on the vital steps of creating the right environment to build connection and trust and gaining a deeper understanding of your important beliefs. Make that mistake and you are destined to gain so much less.
So the physical part of the assessment. What do we do? Well, in a private room we may ask you to take off some of your clothes, so you might want to be wearing clothes you're comfortable in and can take off quickly. If you're too shy to take off your clothes, just say it, it's not a problem.
Many of the assessments we make at my clinic are not common in the UK or anywhere else in the world. I am fortunate to have studied and qualified at the highest level in specific pain relief techniques and as a result I have learnt and ingrained advanced assessment techniques in myself and the rest of my team.
Then we'll be looking structurally at your skin. What does it look like? How healthy it is? What are the hairs like? Are there hairs missing? Does that mean the nerves are not working properly in that area? What's the temperature of the skin? Is it sweaty? Is it dry? How does the limb move? Does it move normally? If not, it will tell us is it’s likely to be arthritis in the joint that's blocking it. Or is it likely to be a tendon? Or a muscle or ligament? Or is it the nerves? Are they transmitting messages normally?
Or is it the brain? Has your brain created the pain felt in the body, possibly locked in from an emotional trauma many years earlier, even back to when you were a child? Chronic pain is created in many parts of the brain (evident in scans). Mindmapping physiotherapy techniques help to unwire the pain felt in the body.
So we're assessing the physical aspect. And that tells us so much about where we believe the problem is, or which systems are mostly causing the problem. Is it mostly the muscles? Is it mostly the nerves innovating the muscles? Is a blood flow problem? Is it something to do with what you are eating or if you don't move enough you are too weak. Or are you so stressed up, that you’re just pumping out inflammation into the area and you’re getting a more aggressive form of arthritis. And you don't need to. By looking at and at the same time feeling the response of your body, we learn a lot. If we hold a patient's hand that's sore, your eyes tend to move very differently than if you hold part of the body that isn't. Also there's a feeling about the hand, there's a hesitancy and there's a sort of a difference in the tone or strength.
There is so much in our senses, that we pick up on when we're assessing physically. Clearly this can only be done physically, face to face. Most of the above would be totally impossible to achieve by virtual means.
In my next blog Your Physiotherapy Prescription I’ll take you through how we develop a Physiotherapy treatment prescription, or plan, which takes you through the steps needed to achieve a successful outcome and let you get on with your life.
In the meantime, if you are in pain right now and you feel confident we can help, then why not call now. Erica, Jean and Charlotte will be happy to help.