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Chiro Physical Examination- I’m a detective and here is why!



The first visit to a new chiropractic clinic, or chiropractic doctor can be daunting, but let’s take a look at what the physical examination at a first appointment, or more specifically at Balanced for Life looks like.


After we take your medical history ( see Dr Sahils blog here ) we need to assess and measure what is really going on and that is why the physical exam is important.


When solving a puzzle you have to examine all the clues. When it comes to the body the clues lie in not just how the person feels but in how they move, how muscles feel, how the nerves fire and how much joint moves. Then we collate all those clues together with the history to paint the clinical picture- which results in a diagnosis and prognosis. Think of it like this- we’re musculoskeletal detectives!






The Physical examination is the portion of the appointment where we ask you to do specific movements and we use a variety of methods to determine what the problem is.


These include

  • Postural analysis- this is a big overall clue to what areas will have more or less load, what muscles are switched on, how much asymmetry there is ect

  • We then Palpate the joints and muscles- which is when you feel the structures and how they move Range of Motion testing follows- to see how far everything moves and get a baseline, Muscle tone and muscle strength tests are important to see which structures are colluding with one another

  • Neurological tests to see what nerve pathways are affected and how they impact movement, pain and muscle control.

  • And last but not least Orthopedic tests are tests that you perform to eliminate and include some of the tissues or joints


There are certain demographics where a different or case-specific approach is required.

In athletes with shoulder, knee or ankle injuries, we perform functional tests and orthopedic tests to determine the correct diagnosis as well as figuring out what was the breakdown in the body that perpetuated the injury- which allows us to work on future-proofing against injuries.

In children, we check developmental milestones, movements such as crawling, walking, balance and retained reflexes.

In pregnancy, we check the pelvic structures, ligaments and spinal stability.


After the physical examination and treatment on the first visit, we then create a treatment plan with all the information we have gatherers from the initial visit to present to you your diagnosis, prognosis, and what we will do to help you achieve your goals.

At the second appointment, we have a report to tell you EXACTLY what is going on and what step we’ll need to take together to get you on the journey to moving better.


Because moving better matters!


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