We all have varying amounts of knowledge in different fields of life – an experienced mechanic will have vast amounts of knowledge regarding motor vehicles, though may have less understanding of managing accounts. As a result, he or she may employ someone to fulfill this role in order to optimise his or her business.
In essence, the same applies for people who seek Physiotherapists. They recognise that this medical profession specialises in correcting faults of the human body, therefore who better to manage their musculoskeletal problem. Right?
Well, yes and no. Before you spit your chips all over the computer screen, allow me to explain.
On average it takes 3-4 years to complete a university degree or apprenticeship. Following this, you are deemed to be competent in your given field. As the years pass, you move up the ranks, gaining experience and furthering your knowledge. With patience and good practice, you become an expert or master of your chosen skill.
As a master, you will be able to deal with the vast majority of problems you are faced with which fall under your scope of practice. Additionally, if you do encounter difficulty, the support network you have developed over your career will enable you to overcome the issue.
Now tell me, how is this accumulation of experience different for your own body? As you grow, you learn more and more about your body. You begin to understand your strengths and weaknesses. As a consequence, you adapt to play to your strengths and avoid your weaknesses.
No one else has the same insight into your unique body. You must learn how to optimise the way you function, no one else can do this for you. For example, everyone is ‘tight’ in one area of another. Why not research and then experiment with ways to improve flexibility in this area, then assess whether this improves your performance in one way or another. Have you recently begun experiencing knee pain following running? Identify what factors have changed, even video record your pattern and analyse the faults you see.
You are your own expert.
Now, I’m not saying there is no need to visit a health professional ever again, just Google it! Far from it. When you do have an issue, by all means get it looked at by a pro. Their expertise in diagnosis and treatment will ideally accelerate your return to full function. If the outcome is good, you now have the tools to manage the problem should you be faced with it in the future.
What I am saying is, learn about your body and take responsibility! Experiment with the way you move and try things to perform better and better. Everyone should be able to move freely through a full range of movement and perform basic movements like walking, running and jumping pain-free (barring serious injury or illness of course). If you can’t, work out why, then correct the problem. This will vastly reduce the likelihood of injury or pain in the first place.
Dr Kelly Starrett, a Physical Therapist from the US, is a huge proponent of this. The guy is my idol! His YouTube channel, Mobility WOD, is full of resources which are designed for individuals to adopt to improve the way they move. Below is a link, trust me, just watch a few videos and absorb his sweet, sweet knowledge.
Over and out.
“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself”
By Andrew Cammarano