Relief vs. Repair
By Matthew Nolan of P2K
Most of the people I treat come to me in some sort of distress or pain. Usually the first visit we end up talking about relief versus repair. It is important to discuss this because I think that most people equate the two. The “normal” scenario is:
1. I experience pain.
2. Pain causes me great distress
3. I take a pain killer
4. pain stops.
5. distress stops, problem solved.
The main issue for me, as a therapist, is that you may have temporarily turned off the alarm system, but you may not have solved the underlying issue that was causing the alarm in the first place.
Seems like a simple thing to understand right? Unfortunately it isn’t that simple for people. In today’s society of instantaneous everything, no pain equals fixed.
I find using a smoke detector analogy works. Your smoke detector goes off, you scramble around trying to find the source of smoke but don’t find anything. You wave a plate in front of the alarm until the it stops making that damn noise. Sometime later it goes off again, and you attempt to find the source but don’t so this time you take out the battery. Problem solved?
I don’t know about anyone else but I wouldn’t sleep soundly wondering if there were a smoldering fire in the walls or furniture of my house!
So why do we accept the same noise (pain) as “normal” in our body? Oh, I’m getting old, I have arthritis, I have an old injury….the list goes on. We are never really encouraged to fully repair and correct our movements.
We are told to stand up straight but it is the how we stand up, sit up and walk that make the difference. That is what I want my patients to take away from our time together.