The importance of a proper diagnosis in the treatment of any patient will have huge bearings on the outcome of Treatment from physical therapy,this can not be underestimated.This is why appropriate questioning and testing of the patient is of utmost importance in helping any therapist in achieving their goals of getting their patients out of pain,be it acute or chronic pain.in my experience in most cases the patient will actually give you great clues in whats causing their pain,JUST LISTEN TO THEM,and they will tell you.Do not ever be cocky and think you know more than them even if you have a masters degree in your chosen profession,this is why a lot of therapist fail in treating patients successfully because they assume and jump to conclusions that they already know what is wrong with the patient and automatically go treating the patient blindly with very little success.when a patient walks into my treatment room i am watching and observing them from the second i see them,starting at how they are walking and moving,how they sit,how the stand from sitting,i look at there face and always ask to see their tongue,this comes from training i have done in Chinese medicine,i look for every little clue that i feel might help me in helping my patients achieve the best possible outcomes from my treatment,and i follow this by questioning the patient thoroughly.i will do all the appropriate tests which i feel will give me the best clues,Active and Passive range of motions,palpatory testing ,trigger point testing,muscle testing,neurological testing etc. all these tests should be carried in in minutes,it shouldn’t take a whole hour or even half hour,but this comes with experience,remember at the end of the day the patient wants to be treated, not sitting there for 50 minutes answering questions and then just getting a ten minute treatment,but as i said this come with years of practice,knowledge,and most of all experience,this is why a person who is in pain and looking for treatment on a particular issue should always seek out the most experienced and suitably qualified person that they can find and they should not be afraid to ask their therapist questions regarding their treatment strategies and techniques etc,remember if you were buying a second hand car you would ask questions so a patient should not be afraid to ask their physical therapist or Acupuncturist appropriate questions regarding their treatment.
Written by Don Kelly
I graduated from the institute of physical therapy and appliance science. I have treated thousands of patients since, through working with rugby teams, athletes etc. over the last number of years I have taken a keen interest in acupuncture where I regularly travel to India learning different acupuncture techniques where I have learned how to treat more complex illness such as ibs, colitis, chronic fatigue syndrome rheumatoid and osteoarthritis to name but a few.