As a physical therapist, I deal with pain on a daily basis in one form or another. Back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, neck pain, ankle pain… they’re all part of my daily experience. Pain is such a common experience for most individuals at some point in their lives, and yet the truth is that so many people don’t know the first thing about what pain actually is. Pain is mysterious, and for many of us, pain is actually completely and utterly confusing. I’d like to shed some light on the darkness, tackling the definition of pain one step at a time.
Physical therapy has always been shrouded in mystery, and the truth is many people don’t really know what it is. Some think that physical therapists only stretch muscles, or rehabilitate athletes. Others feel as though physiotherapy is an intense massage, or even just a way to avoid being stiff after a workout. As a physical therapist with many years of experience, I can honestly say that, despite all these conflicting ideas about physical therapy, one thing remains constant: most people believe we heal pain. And yes – we do heal pain, but what most people don’t understand is that physical therapy is NOT only about healing pain… it is about SO much more than that. This may sound controversial, but keep reading. [...]
We' ve all been there...we’re reading the newspaper or opening the latest piece of mail and
suddenly we cut our finger. Without hesitation we’re off to the kitchen for a Band-Aid. That’s all good and well, but what happens when we hurt ourselves more severely? When we, for example, slice our finger open with a chef’s knife, or cut our arm on a rusty nail? Do we place a Band-Aid on it and hope it stops the pain and prevents infections? NO! We get stitches, we disinfect the area, and we take any steps required to heal the real problem so that future issues don't arise. [...]
I have seen countless patients who have experienced a sudden onset of lower, upper, or middle back pain – or even a stabbing, unexplained pain throughout the region – make the same mistake: directly after experiencing the pain they stagger to the sofa, lay down, and don’t get up for a week or more! Their reasoning… bed rest is the best thing you can do, right? WRONG.
"We help active adults and athletes get back to doing the activities they love, without relying on painkillers or injections."
Shaheen Siddiqui, PT
Specialist Physical Thearapist