Procedures and Tests Administered With a Physical Therapy Evaluation

physical therapy

Physical therapy evaluations can be daunting, especially for first-time visitors, but they are quite straightforward. The following points will explore what one should expect during an evaluation

Discussion With Therapist Before Evaluation Begins

The therapist will need certain information to accomplish with physical therapy. This can be very beneficial in helping the therapist understand what therapeutic approach will be most effective.

The Type of Pain is Thoroughly Examined

Following the preliminary discussions, the full evaluation will begin. This procedure will include a variety of tests and observations, the first of which is essential, as the therapist will likely perform a palpation, which will help in discovering the pain’s specific location and how strong it is. The larger category of the pain is then detected, which will determine the nature of the therapy that is necessary moving forward. For example, a sprain would generally be an acute pain, which will gradually heal as the affected tissue ends. Chronic pain, on the other hand, typically lasts for a much lengthier period of time. Due to go along with the physical treatments.

Muscles and Joints Will be Tested

The therapist will likely change the position of various surrounding joints in order touch.

A Structural Diagnosis Will Occur

The therapist will inquire about the exact type of pain you’re experiencing through a structural diagnosis. This type of diagnosis aims tomy that’s been directly affected.

A Functional Diagnosis May Need to Be Administered

There are times when a structural diagnosis may not be enough to get a better idea of what the problem might be. If you have low back pain that only occurs when you sit down, this could help the therapist determine the exact cause of your pain.

Assessing What Self-Care is Best For You

Once the physical exam has taken place, and the therapist has found the underlying issue for your pain, the therapist will then decide what you can do to alleviate the pain. For example, if lower back pain is the primary issue, a different type of chair or bed may be necessary for you, so that your back pain doesn’t worsen. With the right support for your lower back, your pain can begin healing. Not everyone will benefit from similar self-care procedures, as even the same type of pain can result in a different self-cafe diagnosis.

Overall, this is what you should experience from a physical therapy evaluation. Some evaluations can take longer than others, depending on the tests administered and how obscure the type of pain is. By the end of the evaluation, you and your therapist should have a full understanding of what types of treatment will be required to start the recovery process.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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