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What is a Functional Musculoskeletal Assessment?


There are a wide variety of techniques in the realm of chiropractic care for both treatment and diagnosis. These two aspects of chiropractic care are equally as important as one another. However without a diagnosis, there is no way for a chiropractor to proceed with forming a care pathway for a patient. Thus, there needs to be stringent diagnostic techniques in place at any stage of treatment.

A consistent method for diagnosis in chiropractic care is called the functional musculoskeletal assessment. In this process, a chiropractor is able to asses the patient’s overall musculoskeletal condition in looking for the presence of muscle motor inhibition. This involves a muscle that has been rendered immobile due to the lack of proper neurological communication in nerves surrounding that muscle. Muscle motor inhibition results from either physical trauma or a chemical imbalance, often materialized as neurogenic inflammation. When a muscle is afflicted with this condition, the proper range of motion is not attainable which can result in pain and/or discomfort.

A functional musculoskeletal assessment can discover muscle motor inhibition almost instantly. In diagnosing this problem so quickly, the chiropractor has much more time to focus on treatment now that diagnostics are out of the way. This is extremely beneficial for both the chiropractor and for the patient as there is a much quicker progression from diagnosis to treatment, which ultimately results in positive outcomes for the patient. There is also an element of cost-effectiveness for the patient as they are technically getting more for their money, and the burden placed on the health insurance systems that organize the care for patients financially.

Diagnosis often takes a significant amount of time in many medical fields. If chiropractors are able to use the functional musculoskeletal assessment to reduce the amount of time spent on diagnosis and increase the amount of time spent treating the patient, then the desired treatment outcome can potentially be attained quicker.

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