How do we evaluate your low back?
History is 80% of a diagnosis in any doctor's office. This is what all doctors are taught in school. Although we believe history is an important part of an examination we have exam procedures that have a high degree effectiveness in finding the cause of your pain and dysfunction. We perform the following:
Postural Evaluation: Gives us clues as to what muscles can be too tight or weak.
Range of Motion: We use the AMA's method of evaluating impairment by utilizing an inclinometer (instrument that measures degrees) to determine how close to normal your ranges are and if they are different from one side of the body to the other.
Manual Muscle testing: We use Manual Muscle Testing to determine the tone of the muscles around the affected areas and even above and below the affected area as these can contribute to the involved area.
Palpation: by using our fingers we can feel the tissues around the area of involvement to determine if there are muscles, tendons and/or joints that are inflamed and potentially damaged.
Orthopedic and Neurological evaluation: Standard tests to isolate joint and nerve irritation and damage.
X-Rays - We are very mindful of patients hesitancy to have x-rays taken. We do not have an x-ray machine in our office. Normally we start out without x-rays for most conditions. If a condition is not responding in a reasonable period of time or your history of trauma, disease and sometimes age may be a factor in ordering x-rays and/or a MRI.
Based on our findings an individualized exercise program is developed for your next visit along with treatment to the involved area.