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Physical Exam for Chronic Pain

Topic Overview

During a physical exam for chronic pain, your doctor or other health professional will look for areas that are tender, weak, numb, deformed, or inflamed.

Your doctor will test your reflexes and look for your reaction to certain movements. He or she will also look for other clues, such as swelling, coolness, or color change.

The doctor also will look at or ask you about:

  • Your ability to do daily activities and how your pain affects these activities.
  • Whether you use any aids or devices, such as a cane or brace.
  • Your general activity level.
  • Your balance and the range of motion in your joints.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Nancy Greenwald, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Last Revised January 9, 2013

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