The physical examination of the head and neck region is a fundamental part of the standard physical exam and usually constitutes the first portion of the test. This exam understandably relies on the previous comprehension of the anatomy and physiology of the relevant structures.
The order in which it is performed may vary, but establishing a routine where all aspects of the exam are included is important to avoid excluding a component. Consistency in this routine enables the physician to perform the exam quickly and efficiently while still being able to identify abnormal versus normal conditions.
The assessment focuses on the integrity and proper functioning of the skull, cranial nerves, sense of hearing and sight, muscles of facial expression, nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, oral cavity, regional lymph nodes, and the thyroid gland.