The following is a copy of an article I recently wrote for BC Physio Magazine:
After fourteen years of literally poking and prodding other people’s bodies all day, I have learned a few things about pain, anatomy and human nature. I have done more than my share of market research in the hurting yourself category and have managed to work with or train under some of the world gurus in the pain and rehab space. My name is Brent Stevenson. I am the co-owner of Envision Physiotherapy in Vancouver and the author of the new book Why Things Hurt: Life Lessons from and Injury Prone Physical Therapist. It is a collection of stories and lessons, written in a humorous, conversational tone, that I have found to be the most meaningful and helpful for my clients as they navigate their journeys down the path of resistant pain problems.
I refer to pain as a 3-dimensional moving puzzle due to the entanglement of physical and emotional factors that contribute to the end perception of a person’s pain. When I started my training as a physiotherapist I learned about anatomy and the different systems of the body, like the boney framework of the skeleton and all the muscles that attach to it. I learned about the nervous system and the basic electrical wiring of the body followed by a superficial look at some of the organs that the skeleton was protecting. I was then released into the healthcare world to try and help people with my new found knowledge, but quickly realized how superficial my understanding of the body and my ability to help people really was. I knew about most of the pieces but didn’t really grasp how most of them integrated together as layers of systems within the body. I helped people, but not the way I am able to today. Read More
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
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Tagged with: back gripper
, new moms
, pelvic dysfunction
, si joint
, visceral manipulation