With all musculoskeletal related problems it is essential to complete a subjective and objective examination.

  • Subjective
    • The subjective examination is one of most powerful tools a clinician can utilize in the examination and treatment of clients experiencing lower back pain. A subjective examination involves a discussion about your presenting complaint to assist your practitioner in determining appropriate differential diagnoses which will guide their objective examination. Questions which you may expect to answer may include (but not limited too):
      • What is your age?
      • Can you remember how the injury or pain became apparent?
      • How long have you been suffering with this pain?
      • Are you able to pinpoint and locate the area of discomfort?
      • Are you experiencing burning, tingling, numbness, weakness, shooting pain?
      • Is the complaint improving, staying the same or worsening?
      • Do you find any particular movements or actions difficult to perform?
      • Do you note any difficulty going to the toilet?
  • Objective
    • The purpose of an objective examination is to complete a thorough physical analysis in order to arrive at an appropriate diagnosis. During your assessment, your Chiropractor or associated musculoskeletal therapist will observe your movement, range of motion, muscle strength, neurological function as well as performing various orthopaedic tests

In combination with a subjective and objective examination your practitioner may ask you to complete one or multiple outcome measures which will indicate your level of disability and need for treatment. Typical outcome measures which may be used for individuals suffering lower back pain may include:

  • Fear Avoidance Belief Questionnaire
  • Acute Low Back Pain Screening Questionnaire
  • The Quebec Back Pain Disability Scale
  • Oswestry Disability Questionnaire (this outcome measure is considered the gold standard)
  • Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire