We all know that regular servicing of our cars helps to ensure trouble free motoring and can save us a lot of money in repair bills. We should have the same attitude to our bodies but few people do. The difference between our cars and our bodies is that our cars cannot repair themselves. Cut yourself, tear a muscle, break a bone and the body’s self-repair mechanisms go into action. Strain your back or your neck or any of your other joints and again the body takes action to sort out the problem as best it can.
But note the words “AS BEST IT CAN“. In many cases when we strain ourselves in accidents and falls or when lifting the body cannot sort itself out so instead it adapts itself to the strain and in doing so minimises the effects of that strain. This results in the pain diminishing and, in some cases, disappearing altogether.
Because of this many people, after injuring themselves, don’t bother to seek help but wait to see if the pain will go away on it’s own. And quite often it does. But this does not mean that the problem has been resolved, only that it has now been masked.
Then when their back or neck suddenly gets acutely painful they will say to their physio, “How could this happen, I didn’t do anything?” This is exactly right. They didn’t do anything when they had minor hurts but now, after several minor hurts that the body is coping with, it can’t cope any more.
And the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back can be as simple as bending down to pick something up or sleeping in a strange bed with a different to normal thickness of pillow.
Regular physio check-ups 4 times a year will not guarantee that you won’t hurt yourself if something fairly traumatic occurs but it will ensure that you won’t get acute consequences to minor events. And if you have regular check-ups and then have a major trauma it will be much easier to treat and you will recover much quicker.
Also, quite often when you pick up your car after a service you notice immediately how much better it is running. Because the deterioration has been slow we just don’t notice it until it’s serviced. Well it’s the same with our bodies. Patients often comment on how much better they are moving after a check-up and how much better they feel in themselves.
Children’s bodies are definitely more resilient than adult ones but they are also traumatised a lot more and over time it takes its toll. Physios are often told by patients that they can remember having back pain, or neck pain or headaches right back into their childhood and in most cases they did not have any treatment when the problem started.
Many of them wouldn’t even have told their parents because they would have imagined that their aches and pains were quite natural and that everyone had them.
So again, as with teeth, give your child a good start in life by ensuring that they get regular physio tune ups to prevent long term musculoskeletal aches and pains.
1 in 5 Australians experience chronic pain at some stage in their lives, and it is estimated that chronic pain is the third most costly health problem in Australia.
Recently, we have been analysing our online booking system. Often, we get emails requesting an appointment for physiotherapy only to find out that when our reception follows up with these requests...