I recently had a lady who came to see me with quite severe neck pain. Upon questioning it was discovered that she had experienced this complaint for quite some time. It flared up in times of stress, especially when work was intense. She was aware of the mechanisms of her injury and subsequently how many visits and consultations it would take for her to get better.
This reasoning got me thinking, why do we tend to be reactive towards our bodies and treatment as opposed to looking after it on an ongoing basis to prevent these issues from occurring?
The lady was what we as practitioners consider a compliant client. She was body aware, in tune with what aggravated her and how to make herself feel better but somehow she was still in this pattern of behaviour. I treated her neck and modified the exercises she had previously been given to compliment the complaint she had and subsequently she started to get better in the same fashion she had predicted. On our third treatment I questioned her in regards to this pattern of behaviour and she was shocked. She had never seen it from that aspect before and previous practitioners hadn’t mentioned it.
We discussed her schedule and due to her career she knew when her life would become hectic and I encouraged her to challenge her current frame of mind to begin looking after her body in the weeks leading up to stressful periods. The next time I saw her was before her workload got busy and the treatment was a lot more productive and beneficial as we got to maintain muscle integrity as opposed to undoing the result of stress.
The moral of this article is that as practitioners we love helping our clients and leading them towards getting better. Sometimes being proactive towards your body and treatment may help prevent similar exacerbation of muscle tightness, aches, pains and overload thus targeting areas of dysfunction before they get out of control.
Caitlin Smith – Elite Myotherapist