Does Your Injury Come And Go Like Groundhog Day?
Why does my problem keep coming back, it’s making me feel like it’s Groundhog Day?
This is a phrase we hear all the time on clients' first visit to the clinic, when they explain they have had the same problem on and off for years before coming to seek help.
The biggest problem we see is in our own understanding of symptoms and injuries BUT this isn't our own faults entirely. We are all brought up thinking you can only be injured if you're in pain, and if you're not in pain everything must be fine, it’s that black and white. But the research tells us that's not the case, there’s actually 50 shades of grey (not the kind in the book!) between injured and healthy.
If we think of optimal health as Zero and a serious injury as Fifty there are 49 steps between where we can sit. Now everyone has a different “threshold” but for arguments sake let say a person’s symptomatic threshold is 35. Meaning anything above 35 is painful, stiff and uncomfortable and anything below 35 is symptom free. Most often when people come and see us for their first consultation they are anywhere between 35 and 50, meaning they are symptomatic and are in pain, stiff or are feeling uncomfortable. The client often explains how the problems have been on and off over months or years but this time it's worse.
This simply means for the last few years the client has been hovering around the number 35 (Threshold) and depending on stress levels, diet, activity and life they dip above and below the line on a monthly basis sometimes feeling okay and others feeling painful and stiff. Now does it mean on the month when they are symptom free the issue isn't there and they are perfectly healthy? No, it means it's not quite reached a level within the body to show symptoms but importantly, it's still there waiting under the surface and what may seem like a small trivial thing like putting on your socks or taking out the bin can push it over that threshold.
This is why as a clinic our purpose isn’t to get clients “symptom free”, but its to ensure their issue does not return and the client is the healthiest version of themselves! Which means bringing the level down as close to Zero (Optimal health) as possible and not simply being satisfied by pain free at 34.
If you know somebody who has a recurrent pain that comes and goes every month why not educate them on how to get off that hamster wheel, break the Groundhog Day cycle and resolve their problem long term!