Can we just get one thing straight to begin with? In most cases, people don’t have to live with daily pain.
Yes, there are some degenerative conditions, which may include acute cases of arthritis or osteopathological conditions, that do result in some degree of pain being an unwanted permanent companion, but in those cases attention turns to minimising and managing that discomfort rather than eradicating it.
But the fact you’ve spent years suffering with back, neck or knee pain doesn’t mean you have to go on living with it forever.
By its medical definition, chronic conditions are those which persist beyond the time that might be reasonably expected to allow recovery and healing. In a lot of cases, that healing time is extended not because the condition itself is chronic, but because the way in which rehabilitation and recovery has been managed (or, rather, not been managed) means the healing process hasn’t been allowed to properly complete.
It’s common to see patients who come to our clinic complaining of acute and chronic pain bit who, on further investigation, are actually feeling pain that results from injuries that haven’t healed.
Occasionally, that’s because the initial treatment has been in some way ineffective, but most often it’s because the injury is minor and the patient simply didn’t want to bother someone with something they perceived as being trivial.
Here’s the news: physiotherapy isn’t just about treating the major stuff. There’s a misconception that we’re only wheeled in when there’s a limb or joint that’s been rendered virtually useless, when in fact we aren’t the Red Adair of the medical world (we’ll wait a moment here whilst younger readers Google Red Adair).
When it comes to musculoskeletal issues, the best chance you have of successfully avoiding a lot of unnecessary pain is to get help from a physiotherapist the moment you feel pain or a niggle that doesn’t disappear completely in short order.
Even muscular aches and pains that follow exercise can – and should – be treated through sports massage, which many, if not most, physiotherapists offer as part of their standard suite of services.
We all know what ‘normal’ feels like for our bodies – although you’d be surprised at the number of people who live with pain that has been such a constant fixture in their lives that they have absorbed it into their definition of ‘normal’ – so when something happens that leaves you feeling less than normal, get advice.
The body is like any machine – if you leave problems, they get worse.
If your car took longer than ‘normal’ to stop when you step on the brake, you’d get your brakes checked out. If your washing machine starts dribbling water, you’d take a look to see if the hoses or seals had split. When the lawnmower starts spluttering, you’d check the fuel of spark plugs.
It’s highly unlikely in any of those scenarios that you’d wait to see if the problem got any better before you took action.
So why, when your body starts giving you signals that something’s not right, would you not go and find out if what you were feeling was indicative of something more serious than ‘just a bit of backache’?
We meet a good many people who think they can’t see a physio unless they’ve been referred by their GP, and it’s certainly true that we see a lot of clients who have been referred to us by doctors and specialist consultants.
But just as you can choose to have your teeth looked after by a private dentist, so you can also get your general physical health taken care of by a private physiotherapist. Yes, it costs you money – but then, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune and what price would you put on being able to live free of pain?
If you’ve got a niggle that’s been around for longer than you’d reasonably expect before it healed, get yourself to a physio before the problem becomes a part of your daily life.
If you’d like to talk to us about any element of our work, we’re always happy to welcome you in the clinic or speak with you over the phone prior to a visit. Just contact us to get in touch.