Too often patients come in for physiotherapy with pain that was once upon a time just a niggle. Pain niggling in the neck, the knee, their lower back or anywhere, they have allowed it to become bigger and more debilitating than it should have. Why? Why is it that we as human beings only begin to listen to our body when it begins to scream at us in the different forms of pain; throbbing, stabbing, aching, niggling whatever! Why don’t we seek treatment sooner and why are we allowing this further harm and break down to happen to our bodies?
It is understandable that everyday life costs factor in to the barriers of seeking physiotherapy; these include two very the large contributing factors; time and money. If we as humans are constantly growing, adapting and ageing seek treatment for every little niggle that we have, we wouldn’t have any time for work or even play! Those factors aside, the main point that is imperative to take note of is that these niggles are signs that something is not quite right in your body and is only going to compound in pain with interest if you don’t pay back what you owe to your body. And what you owe it is some darn right respect!
Here are some common signs:
- Pain – this is a sign that something is not working as it should be and may be a sign of injury. Pushing through pain may sound tough, but it will lead to further damage and is not recommended. Our body alerts us to these pains for a reason. Listen to the signals!
- Swelling – again this is a sign that something is not quite right, when something begins to swell even if it is just a little bit puffy after a long walk, it is an indication that something is not functioning as it should be. Listen to the signals!
- Exhaustion – there are days when your energy levels are low but you can still get in a gym session. Then there are days when even thinking about the gym is too much effort! These are signals from your body that it is time for you to rest. Rest days are important for building your body up to avoid breaking it down in the form of injury. Listen to the signals!
If we take the time to listen to our body further injuries and secondary conditions could be avoided. When the body has a pain experience it’s the bodies way of telling us that something is not right and it’s up to you start listening to it. Think of these painful niggles and presentations like the “”Check Engine” light in your car. If you don’t go get your engine checked the likelihood of you breaking down is markedly increased. If only our body’s had warning lights that said “Check Knee Joint”!
In an ideal world, physiotherapy that predicts and prevents further injury, pain and damage would be a big lifesaver and money-maker! But unfortunately for us as Physiotherapists to have any impact on preventative health we must first see the patient. So this little blog entry is my 2 cents on listening to your body before a little niggle turns into a costly expense for both your body and your bank! So it’s time to start taking note of these messages your body is sending you, and a good time to begin interpreting them the right way and respecting them.