The initial step in restoring physical health and function is a comprehensive, patient-centered assessment of the injury, dysfunction or problem.  The examination consists of pain assessment, getting a detailed account of the nature of the injury and mechanism, posture analysis, range of motion measurements, assessment of joint mobility, muscle strength testing, objectifying functionality through various special tests and reviewing any diagnostic tests already done.  

An evaluation is a professional assessment based largely on the objective measures gathered during the exam.  It is imperative that this step is executed successfully because the only way to move forward in treatment is to determine the root cause of the problem.  As a clinician I have always valued diagnostics; we have to know what the problem is and in which specific tissue the pathology lies.