Medical diagnoses don’t need much of an introduction; you get one from your doctor when you are sick. Examples would be influenza, diabetes, or hypertension. They describe the underlying problem that is causing your symptoms.
When people feel sick, they know they need to go to the doctor and find out what’s going on to get treated. Do we treat movement the same way? If you have pain when you move, cannot do things you used to be able to – like get on and off the floor easily – or cannot do things you want to do – like go for a bike ride or pick up a grandchild – then you need to get a movement diagnosis!
A movement diagnosis does the same thing as a medical diagnosis; it describes what’s causing your difficulty with movement. Some examples would be difficulty standing from a chair secondary to decreased force production or scapular downward rotation pattern. Diagnoses set the roadmap for treatment, so getting them right is crucial. Human movement is complex and is influenced by more than just your muscles and joints. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, movement is impacted by the following systems:
Because of the complexity and interplay between these components of the movement system, establishing an accurate movement diagnosis can be challenging. Physical therapists are experts in human movement with doctoral level training and should be your first stop for movement issues.
Not only can a physical therapist provide an accurate movement diagnosis, they will also design a treatment plan to correct the underlying issues and help get you moving well again!