I have a bad: (name a body part)
Does that old high school sports injury still nag you? I hear it all the time: "I've have a bad [back/hip/shoulder/knee] ever since I hurt it in a game 20 years ago."
The fact that you may still be in pain 20 years after an injury does not mean you are destined to live with the shadows of that old injury for the rest of your life.
The human body is incredibly resilient. Given the right environment and stimulus, even the worst injuries recover.
The reason you may still be feeling that old injury today, is that the healing process (although complete) may have been less than ideal. Without proper guidance, tissues can "heal" but dysfunctionally.
In essence, they are stiff, weak, or both.
And no matter hold long ago the injury occurred, the right stimulus can make your situation better.
As a physical therapist, my job is to identify what particular musculoskeletal impairments (loss of strength, range of motion, coordination, and other factors) are present and relevant when working to rehab an injury - acute or chronic - and together with you develop strategies (based on current scientific evidence and our understanding of human physiology) to get you moving and feeling better.
Funny or Sad?
Came across this meme today. While clearly tongue in cheek, it highlights some misconceptions about (relatively) minor injuries such as ankles sprains, or hamstring strains that seem to stick around forever.
To me it's a bit sad that people let problems like this go on and on, because I know that I have a good chance of helping them.
But that's on me. And physical therapy as a profession.
We need to do a better job of educating the public about how we can help. This post is just a small step in raising awareness about the benefits of physical therapy.
If the meme above sounds like you, reach out to a physical therapist today! Tell them about your old injury or pain problem. Ask them their experience in working with similar cases. Ask them what the game plan would be in working with you. If you're not getting answers, and it doesn't seem like a good fit, look somewhere else.
Thanks for reading,