The purpose of the physiotherapeutic examination is to monitor, determine and describe the client’s ability to function in such detail that an appropriate, individual physiotherapy plan that takes into account the resources of the individual, the service system and society can be drawn up based on it, which is part of a wider rehabilitation or service plan. Customer-oriented and wide-ranging physical therapy research requires the physical therapist to have a solid knowledge base, problem-solving and clinical reasoning skills, and the ability to face the client as an individual.

The physiotherapist systematically records observations relevant to the client’s ability to function, resources and limitations in the patient report, following national specifications and the organization’s own instructions. Recording makes the physiotherapist’s work visible. Carefully and correctly prepared patient documents ensure the realization of the patient’s right to access information and legal protection, as well as the legal protection of physical therapists.

Physiotherapy research and analysis of the results proceed consistently and follow safe, appropriate and research-based operating models accepted in the field. When evaluating the ability to function, research methods that are appropriate and appropriate for the customer, based on evidence and culturally suitable, as well as sufficiently sensitive and specific meters and test sets are used. Key physiotherapeutic methods are interview, observation, manual examination and measurement.


By interviewing, the physiotherapist finds out the client’s initial situation, experiences and expectations. When preparing the examination plan, the physiotherapist also collects information from other sources, such as patient reports, laboratory and x-ray findings, diagnostic tests, and other social and healthcare professionals. Based on the preliminary information, the physiotherapist plans an individual and situationally appropriate physiotherapeutic examination.


When assessing functional capacity, the physiotherapist observes the client’s activities and performance, as well as enabling and limiting factors in the various environments, roles and performances of the client’s own everyday life. A physiotherapist’s particular interest is movement, movement, posture control and balance.

Manual examination

Physiotherapist examines the body’s structures, functions and function limitations by palpation and other manual examination methods. Pain and other tactile sensations, swelling and the function of muscles, joints and nerves can be evaluated by palpating with the hands. The manual examination takes into account and evaluates joint mobility, muscle tone and also tests for the presence of neurological symptoms. In the research, specific provocation tests are used, which target either a single tissue or a wider set of body structures. Body control is taken into account in the examination.