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Best Basic Physical Exam Treatment in India

What is a Cataract?

A physical examination, also known simply as a “physical,” is a process in which a physician examines various organ systems and other parts of a patient’s body. As the standard tool used to diagnose the source of pain and diseases – and to monitor overall health – it represents the cornerstone of preventive medicine. It is far better to prevent a disease or condition than to treat it, and better to treat it early before it becomes worse.

A physical examination is usually the first step in helping to find and treat the source of a patient’s pain. The purpose of a physical is to determine if there are signs of illness that can be detected by simply looking, touching and listening to the patient. In the case of a serious illness, the physical findings and the medical history are important elements in making a diagnosis.

During a physical examination, the physician will assess a number of areas. For patients with pain complaints, the physician will focus on areas that may be of particular concern. Patients who visit a physician with complaints about pain will typically undergo a basic physical examination first. This type of examination is standard whenever a patient visits a physician and may include:

Patients who have persistent pain may also undergo one or more tests designed to help locate the source of their pain. Some sources of pain may be difficult to identify during a physical examination, which can be frustrating to patients. If a physician is unable to diagnose the source of a patient’s pain – or believes the patient may simply benefit from another approach – the patient may be referred to a pain specialist with expertise in managing pain.

About the physical examination

Also known simply as a “physical,” a physical examination is the process by which a physician inspects the patient’s body for signs of illness and sources of pain. Along with taking a full medical history, this process is the most important strategy in identifying the source of a patient’s pain. The physician uses a fairly structured process to conduct the exam. In general, the physical includes the following four elements:

Before the physical examination

A routine physical examination normally begins with a review of the patient’s medical history by the physician. The physical examination offers an opportunity with which to speak to a physician about health concerns. Some patients find it helpful to bring a list of relevant questions for their physician to the appointment.

If there are no pressing concerns or current symptoms, no preparation is necessary prior to the exam. However, the physician may request that certain information be gathered before the appointment. A patient seeking help for a specific pain may want to detail the incidences of pain before the physical examination. A family medical history of close relatives (including parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles) may help a physician to be on guard for symptoms of conditions that may have a genetic component.

Also, if a patient reports certain symptoms when making the appointment, the physician may request certain items be prepared prior to the exam (e.g., a stool sample from a patient complaining of blood in the stool). If a patient will undergo diagnostic testing such as a blood test or urine test, it may be necessary to fast, adjust medication or make other preparations. The physician or office staff should inform the patient of any necessary steps.

Patients who report pain are likely to be asked a series of questions about their pain. This is known as a pain assessment. The more specifically and accurately the patient is able to describe the pain, the more likely it is that an accurate diagnosis will be made. For this reason, patients should be prepared to answer several questions. Prior to an appointment, it might help to keep a pain diary in which patients track their pain and record details about it.

Potential questions a physician may ask during a pain assessment include:

Patients are also often asked to describe their pain on a scale of zero to 10. In this measurement, zero represents “no pain” while 10 represents “the worst pain imaginable.”

During the physical examination

Physical exams can range from simply measuring blood pressure and listening to a patient’s heart to a more thorough exam, which usually includes:

When a patient reports pain in a specific area (e.g., back or knees), the physician may conduct specific tests, such as walking or bending, to check functions in that area. The physician will also ask whether or not the patient has noticed other symptoms such as hoarseness, gastrointestinal bleeding, constipation, swallowing problems or coughing up blood. If the patient answers “yes” to any of these questions, the physician may request additional tests, such as blood tests or urine tests.

After the physical examination

Once the physical examination is complete, the physician may decide that additional evaluation of the patient is warranted to help locate the source of pain. The recommendation may be based on the patient’s medical history and any findings during the physical, even if symptoms are not present. Additional tests, often referred to as screening and diagnostic tests, may be used to diagnose the source of pain. They include:

In some cases, a physician may not be able to accurately diagnose the source of pain. Or, a physician may feel that another expert is better qualified to treat the pain after its source has been diagnosed. For example, patients may be referred to a pain specialist (a physician with extensive experience in diagnosing and treating pain) or rheumatologist (a physician who specializes in arthritis and other rheumatic diseases).

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