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When you come into the office you will be required to fill out some paperwork to give us some background information about you and your family history.  The doctor* will ask you some additional questions about your health history and your injury.  Next, the doctor will perform a physical examination on you that may include, but not limited to:  areas of pain, palpation, range of motion assessment, muscle testing, and orthopedic and neurological testing.  In most cases a diagnosis can be given at this stage.  The diagnosis is given based upon your health history, mechanism of injury, and physical examination findings.  If more information is needed, then additional testing will be performed.


Imaging is a common test that is ordered, but it is not necessarily needed for every patient case.  It is used for diagnostic and evaluation purposes, and to monitor your condition progression in some cases (e.g. scoliosis – lateral curvature of the spine).  The most common imaging tests include x-ray, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), CT scan (Computed Tomography), Ultrasound, and Doppler Ultrasound.  Our office only requires imaging when necessary based upon a person’s age, health history, and the nature of their problem.  We do not x-ray everyone that comes into the office since this is unnecessary, unethical, and can be dangerous in many cases.  In summary, many conditions can be diagnosed and start therapies without the use of imaging.


Most cases do not require laboratory testing, and again, it is only performed when necessary.  It is helpful in difficult cases in order to diagnose them correctly. There are many types of conditions that all look the same from the outside (e.g. during the physical examination stage), and the patient’s blood test results (or similar tests) can be helpful in diagnosing them.  For example, laboratory testing is commonly used to help diagnose autoimmune conditions that have swollen and painful joints. Another common condition where laboratory testing is helpful is rheumatoid arthritis.  Diagnoses, in most cases, can be ruled in or ruled out based upon the test results.


After the examination, and looking over any imaging or laboratory results, a diagnosis can be formulated.  The diagnosis will be explained to you  so that you will understand your condition.  The therapy plan will be explained to you and then you will be on your way to recovery.  We will explain all of the different therapies and exercises that will be done in the office.  During the process will will also tell you how to prevent future occurrences, if possible.  

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