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 and won’t be a linear path, but is something you need to assertively embark on to control your future. Read More
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 organs and surrounding structure. The mobility in the upper abdomen can and does get affected by the nerves that originate from your lower thoracic spine or mid back area. Read More
Posted in Blog
, Case Studies
, Mid Backs
Tagged with: abdominal discomfort
, gut pain
, mid back pain
, natural treatment
, stomach pain
, stomach sensitivity
, thoracic torsion
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. Read More
Posted in Blog
, Brent on Business
Tagged with: qap
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 physiotherapist in BC, PLEASE sign up for the email list below so I can build the platform for us all to talk about this and have a powerful voice in dealing with the College. Read More
This article is a detailed account of the past 90 days of my life. A big part of me wants to forget everything that happened to me over the past three months, but something inside of me wants to tell the story. I warn you, that every time I go into detail about what I actually went through, people squirm and shy away, so this is my forum to get it all out. It was the darkest, lowest part of my life to date and I am still only just collecting myself to re-establish some normalcy for my family and business. I returned to work just a few weeks ago, under three weeks after my fourth eye surgery in two months after I was struck in the right eye with a hard orange floor hockey ball on August 19th, 2014.
My wife and three children were away at our family cabin. I had returned to work for the week after an amazing almost 3 week holiday, but I only made it to Tuesday before my world changed. Earlier in the summer a client had told me about a regular pick up floor hockey game at a nearby community centre. I went a few times before my vacation, but I was the new guy amongst a group that had been playing together for a while. The only guy I somewhat knew was my client who had told me about the game.
The game was social, but competitive. Every guy had a different level of protective gear, but most did not have any form of eye protection. I happened to have my squash goggles with me, but forget them in the car because I was running late. I had never worn eye protection playing floor hockey before, but was definitely considering it with this group; unfortunately I never got the chance. I decided to jump right into the game and was having a great time. I scored five goals in the first two games before it happened. I ended up in the corner just off to the side of net. I turned back to follow the ball when I saw a split second of an orange ball flying right at my face. Read More
Posted in Blog
, Case Studies
Tagged with: double vision
, eye injury
, eye pain
, eye pressure
, eye protection
, eye surgery
, macular hole
, manny malhotra
, retina detachment
Beth (as we will call her) was an energetic nurse in her mid-thirties with two young boys to chase around. She was an elite runner in her early twenties, but these days walking a few blocks was a painful chore and picking up her kids was nearly impossible. Pregnancy had done a number on Beth…twice. She had endured the slow nine months of body changes. She had powered through the labours and deliveries and ended up with two lovely little boys to watch grow and thrive, but her body as a result decided to stop cooperating with her desired lifestyle. She went from competitive running, to running a few times a week with discomfort, to just chasing her kids around in pain, to simply walking being a painful task in a period of just a few years.
When Beth first walked into my office she had “tried physio, massage, chiro, core training, prolotherapy and IMS” for her back problems with mixed success. IMS (intramuscular stimulation) had provided her with the most relief, but she still sat in front of me with a dysfunctional body so she obviously needed something more or different to help her get her body back. Her goals were simple: walk without pain, play with her toddlers and generally live an active lifestyle. I had to push her to include running on that list because she had resigned herself to the idea that she would never run again at the age of 37.
To look at her, Beth was a thin, lean looking runner with a big smile on her face and a positive attitude, even though her body had crapped out on her. She appeared to have all the pieces, so why was she still having so much trouble? Therapists had massaged her, needled her, stretched her, cracked her and strengthened her but she still couldn’t even walk without significant discomfort in her back. Read More
Posted in Blog
, Case Studies
, Low Backs
, New Moms
Tagged with: back gripper
, new moms
, pelvic dysfunction
, si joint
, visceral manipulation