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The first step in recovering from some painful and disabling conditions is a physical therapy evaluation. People can sit back and let the physical therapist do all the work. However, physical therapy evaluations can produce more accurate and positive results if the patient is involved.
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When you go to your physical therapy appointment, your doctor should have given the physical therapist some idea of your condition. The physical therapy evaluation will begin when the therapist asks for a medical history. This is a standard procedure for any type of health related issue. It is wise to thoroughly explain past problems and disorders that seem to run in the family.
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This may have an impact on your treatment. It may even point out diseases or disorders that no one suspects you have. A thorough physical therapy evaluation may lead your doctor to treat an unexpected disorder. You may find that while physical therapy is bad for very few people, it is not what you need most.
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The therapist will then ask some questions about your current condition. She will want to know when the pain, stiffness or other problems started. She will ask you how much pain you really have and ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 means no pain and 10 means the most pain you can imagine. The physical therapy assessment will continue with your hypothesis of what is causing it.
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The accuracy of the physical therapy assessment depends on the accuracy of your answers to these questions. If you tell the therapist your pain level is a four and you know it is more like an eight, this will result in her treating your pain less aggressively. It would be as if you had not had a physical therapy evaluation at all.
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However, if you are able to measure your pain level correctly, you will help the therapist understand your problem. When the therapist knows when the problem started and knows what is causing it, the physical therapy evaluation will reflect this information.
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The therapist will then observe your movements. For someone who does not want to be perceived as weak, it can be a challenge to walk and do other movements as he does without someone watching. In other words, a person with a sore and stiff neck may try to move it normally in order not to look like an invalid.
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You will be put through a series of movements that may be brutal for you. Part of a good physical therapy evaluation is for you to see that all the movements are the best you can do. If you are barely able to do these movements, this will tell your physical therapist a great deal of information.
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A physical therapy evaluation should ideally cover all of these pains and conditions. The way to get the most out of a physical therapy evaluation is to be as honest and accurate as possible. Only then will you get the best treatment possible.