A physical assessment starts with a combination of questions to understand your signs, symptoms, and main concerns followed by a physical look at your abilities in different areas such as lying, sitting, standing and walking. The assessment is typically carried out in your own home with a physiotherapist or a physiotherapist and an occupational therapist.
At Access to Rehab we tailor your assessment to meet your needs, the assessment might look at your strength, sensation, range of movement, tone, co-ordination, functional abilities in different everyday tasks, wheelchair posture, mobility and balance. We may use outcome measures to mark your baseline and assess certain areas in more detail, for example when assessing balance we may use the BERG balance as a measure. The use of outcome measures helps to determine effective treatment options and monitor progression.
Following a physical assessment, the findings might lead to a more detailed assessment in other specific areas such as spasticity, postural assessments, cognitive assessments, splinting assessments to name a few.
A spasticity assessment is used to look at the tone in your muscles in more detail to establish the best way to manage changes to your muscle tone as a result of a neurological event/condition.
The assessment will be carried out by a physiotherapist who will ask about changes to your muscle tone, for example if your hand has now become tight and you struggle to open it, or if you are experiencing muscle spasms in your arms, legs or trunk. Measurements of your joint range of movement, strength in specific muscles groups and a measurement of joint stiffness will be given using a specialist spasticity scale. From the assessment, a spasticity management plan can be devised which may involve a specific stretching programme, strengthening programme, postural management regime or onward referrals to NHS spasticity clinics to see a consultant. At Access to Rehab we can provide ongoing advice and support through this whole process.
Walking and preventing falls is of huge importance when living with a neurological condition to maximise your independence in a safe environment, so an assessment of your gait/mobility and balance is essential.
The assessment will be carried out by a physiotherapist who will look at your walking pattern, walking speed, what mobility aids or orthotics you use when walking, whether you can walk inside and outside on different terrains, how you manage the stairs. In conjunction with this it is important to look at your balance. Often the best way to assess balance is through using different balance tests known as outcome measures. These will challenge your balance in different situations from being static in standing to more dynamic activities.
The findings from this will help tailor your therapy interventions, this might be a new piece of mobility equipment to make you safer; onward referrals to orthotics clinics; mobility practise in different locations with our rehabilitation assistants; home exercise programmes including strength and balance exercises; additional equipment or rails around your home from our occupational therapists.
Hydrotherapy is a type of physical therapy which utilises water to create a therapeutic environment to exercise in. At Access to Rehab we can offer hydrotherapy/pool assessments with our physiotherapists if it is indicated for you, and develop a bespoke exercise programme to maximise the benefits of exercising in water.
Before an assessment can be carried out in the water an assessment must be carried out on dry land known as a physical assessment. This looks at your physical abilities and identifies your main problems, from this we can advise whether these could be treated in the water. We will also ask you a list of questions to check it is safe for you to exercise in the water. Once this is completed we can assess you in a suitable pool in your local area. At the pool the therapist will complete a risk assessment to ensure you can enter the pool and exercise safely in the water. A series of exercises will then be devised for you to use.
At Access to Rehab we strive to support people back into the local community, this may involve getting back to exercising at your local gym/leisure centre. Following a physical assessment with a physiotherapist, we can then support your transition back to your local gym or explore options to find you a suitable gym/leisure facility to exercise in.
Following a physical assessment, we can identify your main areas to work on to improve your physical fitness or just increase your daily physical activity. We will liaise with your GP and local gym/leisure centre to ensure you find the right place to exercise in safely. We will then tailor an exercise programme for you and support you in completing this until you feel able to do this independently or with one of our rehabilitation assistants, a support worker or family member.