During your visit with your provider, you will start with a detailed health history followed by a physical examination.

The goal of the physical examination is to help further determine what is causing your pain.

This often involves wearing a hospital gown or shorts, but please also feel free to wear whatever you are most comfortable in. The goal of the physical examination is to help further determine what is causing your pain.

The physical examination includes looking at and evaluating your area of pain. Inspection can show your provider just exactly where you hurt as well as show your provider other clues that may lead to further determining the cause of your pain. For example, some types of rash are often associated with pain.

The next part of the physical examination involves touching (palpating) the area. This allows your provider to determine the extent of your pain as well as evaluate the other structures, including bone, muscle, ligament and tendon, around the area of your pain.

All of our providers have also been trained in advanced orthopedic examination techniques. For example, there are special bone and joint examinations. This involves knowing how to evaluate the positions and movements of the spine, upper limbs (shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand) and lower limbs (hip, knee, ankle and foot).

There are also special neurologic tests that are done during this examination that help determine if you have problems with your nerves and/or muscles. This involves evaluating how well your nerve signals are working from your brain down to your muscles while also evaluating your strength, how well you feel things and your reflexes.

Your examination will often also include a functional evaluation. This could mean looking at how you walk, run, jump or perform an activity that is causing you difficulty.

When your physical examination is completed and the results are combined with your health history, the cause of your pain can often be determined.

With that information, further tests or treatments can then be discussed and planned.