In our fast-paced world a lot of people are looking for a quick fix. When a tire goes flat, we just replace the tire. When the phone screen breaks, we replace the screen or get a new phone. Well, the human body is not so easily “fixed” because we are not simple machines. While there are certain things that do require immediate medical attention to fix, such as a severe bone break or a fully torn muscle, most sprains and strains can’t be “fixed” in such a simple way.
As physical therapists, we give you the tools you need to help your body heal. Our brains and bodies are amazing at healing and adapting. The brain can even produce its own pain relievers. You have everything you need right inside of you!
The best physical therapists not only provide options to help the body heal, but they also consider the brain when treating everyone. We cannot separate the two. New research is showing pain is much more complex than we ever thought. For many years it was believed that pain was just in our tissues, but pain is multidimensional and involves more than that. It is now known that pain comes from the brain and pain is bio-psycho-social. These three things impact our pain experience and include:
All the tissues in the body will heal with time. However, if pain after an injury persists for more than 6 months, it is likely that the tissues have healed but other factors such sleep, diet, stress, anxiety, etc. are keeping the nervous system on high alert. It is important to figure out what those factors may be so that you can problem solve with your physical therapist on how these other factors can be managed. This will help to calm the nervous system down and therefore help to reduce your pain. So, the next time you see a physical therapist instead of asking, “How are you going to fix me?” I dare you to ask, “What do I need to do to help my body heal?”
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