I remember when I was Thirteen, my big brother, who was Sixteen came into my room and asked me out of the blue: “Are my ears REALLY big?” Now, being a sensitive soul, even at that young age, I replied with a very certain, “Yep!” “They are aren’t they?” Geoff continued. “And do you reckon they stick out at 90 degrees?” “I dunno,” I replied, casually looking up from my Archie and Jughead comic, “let’s measure it.” So we found a set square and I put it against the side of my brother’s head. Now, I don’t know if any of you have ever done this, but it is very easy to come up with the conclusion that: “Wow, yes indeed, your ears do stick out at 90 degrees.” As my brother beat a hasty retreat to his room with his hands over his ears, I casually returned to my comic and thought: “Man, he’s really messed up.”
Now the reason I am sharing this story is to demonstrate the fact that taking advice from people who aren’t experts is fraught with danger. Instead of asking his little brother these questions, Geoff should have sought out a higher authority - one with more expertise and training in dealing with these issues. Obviously, in this case, he should have consulted Mum.
I have had countless patients tell me that they have been living in pain; even though this pain is stopping them from picking up their grand kids or doing the gardening. They have just been putting up with these restrictions in their lives because their neighbour has told them that their friend had the same thing and there’s nothing that can be done to help them. It’s not until they come into Physique or ask their GP that they get some correct information and realise that something can be done to change the pain.
I recently had a patient who I was treating for her headaches. Treatment was extremely effective and she rapidly got to the point where her headaches had resolved. Just as I was about to discharge her from my care she mentioned that she had a sore shoulder, but she didn’t think I could help her with that. It turns out she had “just put up with” her extremely sore shoulder for the past 3 years. What started off as an occasional niggle had progressed to the point that she was no longer able to lie on that side and couldn’t lift her hand over her head without pain. I quickly diagnosed what was wrong, reassured her that physio could indeed help and started treating her straight away. Six weeks later, her pain was gone. Her parting words to me were: “Thank you so much for all your help, I only wish I had come to see you sooner.”
I hear those words so often – “I didn’t know you could help, I really wish I had seen you sooner.”
Please, if you have pain, stop just putting up with it; stop listening to backyard experts and get some help sooner rather than later. I guarantee that getting the right advice and expert support will make a huge difference in your life. Who knows, you may even get completely pain free again.