An initial assessment (lasting 45-60 minutes and including treatment) is conducted on your first appointment to allow an accurate diagnosis of your condition to be made. This involves taking a full medical history and asking questions regarding the nature, behaviour and aggravating factors of your problem.
A thorough physical examination is then necessary, which will involve you either undressing or wearing appropriate clothing so that the affected part of your body is visible. Therefore, a pair of shorts and vest top may be required to examine low back, hip, knee, neck or shoulder problems. You are more than welcome to bring along a family member or friend to act as a chaperone.
The physical examination involves testing various structures such as joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and nerves, to locate the exact source of your symptoms. Several areas of the body may be necessary to be examined as the cause of your symptoms may not necessarily be where you feel your pain. For example, if you have pain in your arm, it is essential that your neck, shoulder and elbow are examined to locate the exact cause of your symptoms.
At the end of the initial assessment, a diagnosis of your symptoms will be made, and a plan of appropriate treatment presented to you with an estimate of how many appointments may be required. Your diagnosis will be explained fully to you using models and diagrams and you will be able to ask as many questions as you need to understand your problem.
If appropriate, some treatment will be conducted on your first visit to begin your recovery, and you may also be given a home program of exercises to facilitate this. Your GP can be informed of any treatment that is conducted and may be contacted if your problem requires further investigation (such as an MRI Scan, X-Ray or blood test) or alternative treatment is recommended (such as a steroid injection or referral to a specialist Consultant).