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I’m Brent – a Vancouver based physiotherapist.

Why Things Hurt is a site I’ve created to share my articles and videos. They’ll help you understand your aches and pains, and give you concrete and simple strategies to help!

  • GETTING STARTED
    An Instructional manual to let you navigate WTH and your body

 

  • TREATMENT TECHNIQUES
    Powerful options that you likely haven’t tried

 

  • MOVEMENT SCHOOL
    An email guided program to improve your posture

 


A step by step guide to addressing your pain and creating long term change in your body

Pain can come in many forms and for a variety of reasons, but most of the time there is something that you can and should do about it other than take medications.  Suffering from chronic pain can be a defeating place to find yourself, but if you become part of the solution by assertively educating yourself, seeking the right help and being open to change, you can usually win the battle.  This post outlines the steps I recommend you follow to take control of your health both physically and mentally and get the help you need. Step 1: Don’t Panic Step 2: Learn Step 3: Network & Ask for Help Step 4: Treatment Step 5: Maintenance & Prevention Step 1: Don’t Panic It is really hard to think logically and objectively when you have been in pain for an extended period of time.  Irrational fears can cloud your judgement and Googling your symptoms can create fear and confusion.  Try to become mindful of the fact that you may be getting pulled down a rabbit hole of misleading information and mind fogging medications.  As best you can, try to zoom out from the pain and try to look at yourself in the context of where you are and where you want to be.  Create a physical and mental goal to anchor your purpose and then start learning what it will take to get you there. You are the only person that has to live with your pain on a moment to moment basis and you are the only person that has the control to change it.  You will likely have to change some of your behaviors, step outside of your comfort zone and ask for help from people you don’t know.  It is journey that may take longer than you expect ...
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Stomach Pain: A mechanical explanation & a pill-free treatment

Back pain is the number one complaint that brings people into my office for physiotherapy treatment, but rarely do people have just one issue.  Many times people have a handful of symptoms, but either don’t think they are related, or don’t think it is necessary to mention it to their physiotherapist.  Most people see stomach pain as an issue for their doctor and/or something they just have to live with, but in my experience doctors just prescribe symptom treating pills that don’t get at the crux of the problem.  Stomach pain very much can be an acid balance problem, but it also can very commonly be a mechanical issue related to your mid back and the physical mobility of your stomach. After learning the osteopathic approach of visceral manipulation, I started considering the physical toll people’s organs can have on their alignment and their pain.  I started noticing and feeling the tension in people’s abdomens and ribcages in a different way because I had a better understanding of how the anatomy is attached to the inside of their ribcage and spine.  More often than not, a client would come to see me complaining of mid to lower back pain, but I started asking “are you having any stomach problems,” because I started to pick up on a particular pattern of restriction in their mid-back and upper stomach.  Enough clients started saying “how did you know?” that I started sensing that I was on to something. Your stomach is a muscular bag that sits in the upper left quadrant of your abdomen and is squished up against your liver and under your diaphragm.  To do its job properly it needs to be able to muscularly churn your food which requires mobility relative to its neighboring ...
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My Book is Almost Here!!

I am excited to announce that my goal of writing and publishing a BOOK is becoming a reality this year!

Over the past five years I have written numerous articles and created over fifty videos as resources for my clients and the general public to help give them a context for how their bodies work.  Until recently I have kept those videos in the members section of this site and held off promoting anything about WhyThingsHurt.com because I wanted to focus on quality content.

In the past year I haven't posted much new content to this site because I have been working hard to organize and expand the information into a book to help my followers learn things in a more appropriate order.  I have used client and personal stories to tie together relevant information about how your body and mind function and ultimately to explain Why Things Hurt.

My new book will be titled:

Why Things Hurt: Life lessons from an injury prone physical therapist

(available Spring/Summer 2016)

In the lead up to my book launch, I will be completely redesigning the structure and function of this website.  I will be eliminating the members section and have already loaded all of the videos onto my YouTube Channel.  I am working on creating a variety of playlists to help provide direction of what order to watch the videos and to do the exercise progressions.  The new site (March/April) will have the YouTube videos integrated into the written blog posts and a gallery of playlists specific to different issues.

Reading my book will make the new website infinitely more useful because you will develop a big picture understanding of how your body and mind work and then can use this site to help you work on the specifics that are important to you.

Over the ...
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/ in Blog, book launch, Brent on Business

My meeting with the College of Physiotherapists of BC

Last night from 5:30-9pm with Dieter and Yvette by my side, we met with Brenda, Phil and Heather from the College to discuss the issues surrounding the RCA exam.  We created objectives, wrote them down then talked our way through all of them until we agreed it was time to go home. 

Phil ran the flow of the meeting and I voiced our concerns throughout the process in an open and constructive manner.  Phil's focus was on establishing the history of how we got to where we are today with the Quality Assurance Program (QAP) and my focus was on helping him understand how I/we didn't like where we are today and why.  I better understand their position from the process, but in no way was convinced or swayed that the Registrant Competency Assessment (RCA) portion of the QAP as it stands today is a good idea.  I believe that they heard my arguments against the RCA and although they didn't concede that there is a better option, I think I created some openness in their position, which is a good start.

Brenda said very little, but listened and took notes as Phil and I debated the details of the QAP point by point.  He had Heather write out on the board the aspects that were required of the QAP taken from this document on their website.  Please take a moment to open this pdf file and scroll to page 4, there are fourteen points that they feel are very important to the development of the QAP.  I actively challenged them that they currently weren't achieving the first six points in their current iteration of the QAP with the RCA in it.

We reviewed that the current QAP has three phases to it:
1.    Annual Self Report (ASR),
2.    Registrant ...
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/ in Blog, Brent on Business, qap, rca

BC Physiotherapists RCA Updates

I have created this page in preparation for my meeting with Brenda Hudson (Registrar), Phil Sweeney (Chair of Board), and Heather Leslie (Vice Chair of Board) of the College of Physical Therapists of BC on January 27, 2016.  We will be discussing the Registrant Competence Assessment (RCA) exam that all physiotherapists in BC are currently required to write. For background on this on going matter please read my November 2015 post titled BC Physiotherapists Rally Together to Have a Voice Since writing the above post I have learned a lot about the history of this exam and have had phone calls, emails and in person thank yous from all over the province for speaking up.  Apparently I am not alone in my feelings about the principle of this test just being way off the mark.  We have tried to challenge it from its inception but the College has marched forward despite our concerns. The PABC has spent a lot of hours over the years trying to help resolve this issue to no avail so the challenge falls on our shoulders if we want to challenge what the College thinks is a good idea.  My challenge is to create a platform that will reach all 3000 physios in the province because the PABC is protective of its email list and I'm guessing the College will be the same. My original post had a much further reach than I expected, but this time I am shooting for ALL of you (3000+).  Together with the small advisory team I have built, we will be emailing out a short questionnaire to get a sense of everybody's stance on this subject and depending on the outcome of our January 27th meeting a petition to change the RCA exam to something more appropriate. If you are a registered ...
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