What is it? And Why is it important?
A high-quality subjective assessment is one of the most undervalued tools a therapist uses to assist in providing a diagnosis and rationale alongside determining a clients severity and irritability.
A good therapist should have some form of an idea of what condition/injury/pain their client is trying to describe to them before even laying a hand on them. An objective assessment (physical) should merely be used to confirm or deny their "hunch".
Throughout a subjective assessment I'd look into;
- The site and Spread of the injury
- Mechanism (how it happened)
- Description of pain
- Onset and intensity
- How it has been since it happened
- Family History
- Social History (i.e what the client does as a job/hobbies and interests)
- History of Present Condition
- Diurnal Cycle (how it changes throughout the day)
- Any swelling/bruising/redness/heat
- Aggravating and Easing factors (this gives you a REALLY good idea of what it could be)
- Neurological signs (numbness/burning/pins and needles)
- Sleep affected?
- Red Flags (these are questions asked to be sure there is nothing sinister going on)
Further questions may be necessary, to a therapists discretion, to dig a little deeper into the present condition.
Quality questioning can and should guide a therapist to a primary and secondary hypothesis leading to suitable methods of treatment for the presented injury.
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