What is a Physical Examination?
A physical examination is the process by which a medical professional investigates the body of a patient for signs of disease. It generally follows the taking of the medical history and an account of the symptoms as experienced by the patient. Together with the medical history, the physical examination aids in determining the correct diagnosis and treatment plan. This data then becomes part of the patient’s medical record. Alliance Health Company employs Physiatrists and General Physicians to carry out physical examinations.
A physical examination may include checking vital signs, including temperature examination, Blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate. The healthcare provider uses the senses of sight, hearing, touch, and sometimes smell. Four actions are taught as the basis of physical examination: inspection, palpation (feel), percussion (tap to determine resonance characteristics), and auscultation (listen).
When being evaluated for physical injuries, it is common for the evaluating physician to refer the patient for diagnostic imaging studies such as EMG/NCV, CT Scan, MRI or X-Rays. These imaging studies are used to show physical conditions under the skin such as fractures, disc disorders in the spine, arthritis and many other physical conditions.
Physical examinations are used to establish the diagnosis and to provide a plan of treatment. At Alliance Health Company, our physical therapy department is responsible for care once the physician has referred the patient for therapy. Please contact us to learn more about what you should bring to your physical examination appointment.
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