Vital signs: Blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate (breathing)
Postural Assessment: examination of the alignment of the joints, comparison of left and right, front and back of the body to identify any significant discrepancies. Muscle bulk and tone will be assessed including any deviations from the ideal anatomical position.
Gait: The therapists observes the way the patient walks and identifies any deviations from the norm either before weight baring, during weight baring or after weight baring.
Range of Motion: the therapist with examine the affected joints to determine if full range and strength is available. There are three parts to this assessment; first the patient demonstrates their own ability to move the joint. Secondly the therapist performs the movement for the patient in a relaxed state to determine the physiology within the joint. Thirdly the therapist will apply resistance to the joint to determine the strength of the muscles responsible for the particular ranges.
Manual Muscle Strength Testing: if the patient displays weakness within a particular range of motion, the strength of each muscle responsible for the range will be tested individually.
Special Orthopedic Testing: there are numerous tests that help to confirm or refute a particular impairment or condition. These tests help the therapist to isolate the problem and therefore select the best treatment options.
Neurological Assessment: When it comes to nerve damage, there are specific test that help the therapist to identify whether or not the problem is coming from the root of the nerve or further out in the periphery.