Many of my patients have seen various professionals in the past, had medication or treatment, perhaps a scan or some exercise recommendations, and been sent on their way.
When I see a new patient for their initial consultation, I commonly find that the answer to my question about what diagnosis they were given, or what they were told was causing the problem, is “I don’t know.”
Having a clear idea about which structures in your body are causing pain, and the reasons behind why this might be, means that every exercise makes logical sense; every treatment technique can be understood as part of the treatment plan to help resolve the problem; every piece of advice given is fitted seamlessly into your understanding of the changes that need to be made for the pain to recede.
I will always take the time to explain to my patients what my diagnosis is, why I believe the situation has arisen and what my proposed treatment plan will be. I’ll often use my model skeleton to show which joints are involved, and try to give as much advice as possible about exercises, stretches and lifestyle changes.
Patients then maintain the work I do in clinic throughout the week, by continuing to stretch, mobilise joints, work on their posture etc – because it makes sense and doesn’t get forgotten. This way there’s often a significant improvement at each treatment, and ultimately, a quicker return to fitness.
So if you don’t know what is hurting, why it’s hurting, or how it’s being treated…ask!