Transcript: The Truth about Pain and Dr Google

Let’s talk about pain. Pain is a signal of the body to get us to stop whatever we’re doing that causes the pain.

Pain exists to prevent us from doing more harm.

Typical pain patterns in different parts of the body.

A lot of times, it’s easy to figure out what causes the pain, for example, when we bump our knee at the coffee table, so we avoid the coffee table in the future. However, there are sometimes things that happen over time that lead to pain over time, and then it’s a lot harder to find out what causes the pain. In addition, it’s likely that it is not only one factor or one event that causes the pain.

Often in my practice I get people who suffer from backpain, and they don’t even know exactly where they feel the pain, because it’s overwhelming.

What I do is

  • to look at them
  • to get them to do some movement
  • to do a postural assessment
  • to palpate their body and their muscles

After all that, I then may tell them,

  • that something is out of alignment
  • or that they have a muscular imbalance

I avoid telling people certain things because it allows the mind to latch onto that. People tend to carry their diagnosis like a label. This slow the healing process down and sometimes prevents it completely. I prefer telling my clients how to work on this problem, so that they get better.

A lot of times, people don’t even go to somebody like me, they go to Dr Google and try to find out what their pain is about. It’s natural that people are trying to find a solution to their problems. We humans are extremely good at finding solutions and applying them.

The issue with complex pain is that it is hard to get a correct diagnosis via Google. Things that pop up on Google are like the latest fashion. One of the biggest fashion trends in recent months is called hip impingement. Now, some people may have this in isolation, which I highly doubt, but it could be.

I think that things like that pain around the hip, whether it is in the front of the hip, which would be called hip impingement by some people, or at the back, which would be maybe called SI dysfunction, sacroiliac joint dysfunction by other people, it could also be from any other places around the hip,

  • could be the lower back
  • could be your hamstrings are not working properly
  • it could be your IT band (Iliotibial band)

Yes, that’s right, it could be so many things. Therefore, it is difficult to get Google to diagnose you. Google can’t see you. Google can only offer you what most people write about it in this point in time.

So, if I were you, I would be careful in allowing Google to diagnose you and trying to find a solution to your problem. Your mind, your conscious mind wants to deal with this problem. That’s why, going onto Google and looking for stuff is very satisfying for the conscious mind.

The problem is that the conscious mind hasn’t initiated the pain, our body wisdom did. Our body wisdom has only this one simple language,

  • feel bad
  • feel good
  • feel pain
  • feel relaxed

This language is not very precise in pointing out where this pain is coming from.

So, my recommendation would be to seek out advice from a professional. I know that are people out there that do wonderful work, and I know that there are people out there, that don’t do the work as well as they could do it, because they maybe have some of their own problems, they have not been trained properly. I get that, but most people in that professional field do know what they are doing. It’s a good idea to seek out somebody who would actually look at you. That would be my advice for any complex pain situations that you might experience.

One of my main experiences is that people have developed postural habits. Everybody sits sit too much. Sitting is certainly one of the main culprits. Some people don’t move enough, which can lead to problems. Some people move a little too much, in the wrong way, which tends to worsen the pain. And if they had an injury previously, they may still unconsciously adapt to the injury, even though it happened years ago. For example, they try not to put too much weight on the side of the injury.

All those things play a role how people develop postural habits. It can be subtle sometimes, because someone may not have a limp, but they still place more weight on one side. It still looks normal to the untrained eye. If somebody is trained though, it’s hard to unsee these things.

I can’t not see this kind of stuff. For example, I sit in a shopping centre and look at people and I want to go and tell them:

“No don’t move like that”

but I can’t walk up to everybody and say no, no that’s not right what you are doing, they would think, I’m nuts anyway. The reason that I can see it, is because I’m trained to do that, I don’t have the innocence of the normal people anymore, but most people are not trained to look out for these things.

So, it’s harder to see it in other people and I can definitely guarantee you, it’s very hard to notice it in yourself, because you are so familiar with yourself and your eyes will deceive you completely.

Unless you take a video of yourself and then look at it later, but even then you may not see it, because it’s just different when you are in your own body, it’s very hard, especially when you are in pain.

I seek professional help when I’ve got a problem with my body, and I don’t think that’s weird, I think that’s normal. I try not to google my stuff, because Google is just going into one rabbit hole after the other. And you end up with illnesses you never knew existed in the first place. I highly recommend not to google your body pain. Look out for somebody to help, a person. There is still not yet a system that can replace somebody who is trained and knows what they are doing in diagnosing people or helping people.

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