“Look after your body it’s the only one you’ve got” is becoming my daily mantra.
My practice is becoming more and more like a jig saw puzzle and I’m blaming it on doing my Masters.
Having diligently attended continuing education all my professional life I underestimated the value of more intense extended study.
But also I think the last 10 to 15 years has seen an amazing explosion in research and the sharing of global knowledge within the world of physiotherapy and other closely related professions such as osteopathy.
For me this has meant asking more questions and looking a lot more closely and extensively at people when they come in with a complaint.
And this has in turn made me realise how often the body by accommodating to what might have been a minor injury (eg think limping with a sprained ankle) can continue this into a maladaptive movement pattern albeit more in a more subtle way thus creating a more chronic problem.
Or in the case of the office worker how often the body assumes faulty postures that can create extensive problems throughout the body.
One of the best ways I personally know of doing a comprehensive body self-check is to attend a yoga class.
Yoga will show up the areas of your body that have become tight, weak or have been subject to excessive load.
Yoga will also, if properly taught, help to correct these problems.
Otherwise if your body has not already started alerting you to issues with pain signals just simply lying on your back, lifting your arms above your head, bending your knees up and rolling them from side to side and feeling for any areas of discomfort.
Mirrors are a great way to check your posture – from front and side.
This is what we are trained to do.
Examine and assess for faulty movement patterns, joint restrictions, nerve compression, soft tissue restrictions and then provide appropriate treatment.
Most importantly, with your goals in mind, we will via education and graded exercise programs help you structure self-management programs that will stimulate the healing process, avoid ongoing stressors and correct faulty movements.
This may require changes to work stations, current exercise programs and lifestyle. But the goal is to get your body moving freely, efficiently and pain free so that minimal stress is placed on your joints, the degenerative process is slowed down.
The long term goal is for you to be able to enjoy pain free movement for your entire life.