Before a doctor can diagnose your condition and design a treatment plan, a complete history and physical examination are necessary. There are so many possible internal causes of pain; it is important to determine what is and is not causing the problem. To make this determination, your doctor will take a complete physical history of your condition and perform a physical examination.
The complete physical history may begin by your doctor asking you to fill out a written form that asks you a number of questions relating to your pain. The more information you share, the easier your problem will be to diagnose.
Your physical history is important because it helps your doctor understand everything about your pain including when it began, any injury that could have caused it, whether your lifestyle or any physical factors might have caused it, and whether you have a family history of similar problems.
After reading through your physical history, your doctor may ask more questions that relate to the information you have given. These questions may include:
The physical examination helps your doctor determine what may, and what may not, be causing your pain. The areas of your body that will be examined depend upon where you are experiencing pain, such as in your neck, lower back, buttocks, arms, or legs.
During a physical examination, your doctor may check for:
Click on a link to learn more about the diagnostic tests your doctor may recommend: