Last month was my daughter’s birthday. Bec and I thought that it was appropriate to acknowledge that she was getting a little older, and so for her present we got her a pet to care for. As a result, on the morning of her birthday the whole family was sitting on her bed and marvelling at this beautiful little 6-week-old, hand-raised budgie snuggle in close to Sarah. We all sat quietly marvelling at how cool this little creation of God was, when all of a sudden my 5-year-old boy asked in a deadly serious voice: “Dad, do birds do fluffs?” (Actually he used an entirely more vulgar word that starts with F and rhymes with billycart – you get the picture.)
After all the laughter died down Owen still wanted to know the answer. I don’t know about all the bird lovers out there, but this was a tough question for me, one that I had never been asked before.
It got me thinking about all the questions I often ask my patients. The three main questions I ask are: “How did this injury happen?”; “How long has this been going on for?” and “What did you change about the same time that the pain began?” Now for me, the answers to these questions are helpful in getting a correct diagnosis and in working out how to best stop this pain from recurring. However, what I have found is that most of the time, people find these questions to be tough questions, difficult to answer with any accuracy. It’s not that they don’t know the answers, it is more the fact that they haven’t even thought about it.
As my patient and I discuss what is going on we can generally work out accurate mechanisms of injuries, correct timelines and the things that are contributing to their pain. Often all it takes is a moment to think about it and then I see the light bulb come on and we can work out why the pain began or why it isn’t going away.
In contrast, my regular patients come in and tell me exactly how the pain began, how long it has been going for and what they have changed in their lives which may have caused it. They are used to me asking these questions and have thought hard about the things that have contributed to their pain. Consequently, they have already modified their activity and started to change the things that they need to change in order to get their lives pain-free.
If you are suffering pain, it is very important that you work out the answers to the 3 questions above. It gives you an opportunity to get control over your pain and to start to change the things that are contributing to it. I encourage you all think about why, when and how your pain began and then to modify immediately the things that you can. Of course, if you can’t get on top of the pain, come in and let us at Physique make a difference.
Oh, by the way, according to the research I did: No, birds do not do fluffs. Huh, it seems we do learn something new every day!