A few tips for effective assesments

An assessment is a pre-requisite to any osteopathic treatment. Here are a few tips to make them more effective.

Make it specific and general

The specific component will look at areas like the range of movement at a certain joint or joints, a particular test that stresses a certain structure and helps to narrow down what is causing the symptoms. A general assessment will look at a more multi joint movement such as a squat or row where you can see numerous joints and muscles all working together. This approach helps covers any areas that are missed while just assessing using one approach.

Consider the injury and the individual demands of the patient

This involves having a thorough understanding of the patients medical history, injury history, their goals, lifestyle demands and expectations.

Highlight the positives

If a patient has some movement issues then its easy to say that x, y and z aren’t at normal ranges, this can really put the patient off and make them feel that they have a long way to go. A better approach can be to identify the areas to work on and also identify the areas they have excelled in. For example, a patient might not have the greatest range of movement at the ankle but their other foot mechanics and knee range of movement might be good so its worth pointing that out.

Be wary of hypermobile patients

These patients can demonstrate extreme ranges of movement which can look very impressive while performing active and passive ranges of motion testing and functional movement screening. However, there is a likely hood that with this excessive range of movement comes a lack of control in these ranges. A predominantly stability screen approach works well here and can help determine whether the joints like the knees and lower back have the control to support the increased mobility.

About the author

Michael is an Osteopath, trainee strength coach and competitive powerlifter

effective assessments