I’m tired of hearing about quick fixes. I’m also tired of people looking for quick fixes. Unfortunately, we live with a broken healthcare system invested in the “quick fix” to individuals’ health concerns.
My intention for this week’s post was to re-visit posture and pain. Yet, during my normal internet search to see what kind of information is out there, I became frustrated.
During my search on things such as posture, low back pain, neck pain, sitting posture, and so forth…everywhere I look, I see titles such as….
“Fix bad posture in X days”
“5 Quick Fixes for your low back pain”
“How to solve your neck pain in 2 steps”
“Five-minute fix for back pain”
Well, folks, I hate to break it to you. This is brainwashing at its finest. Things take time, especially health and healing. Although that simple stretch you learn may provide you short-term relief, nothing is “fixed”!
How many of you have been prescribed medication to lower your cholesterol or blood sugar before changing your diet and lifestyle? How many of you have had a surgical intervention without ever trying alternative therapies? How many of you have thought a surgery will “fix” the problem yet it does not? Oh, and how many of you have given up on physical therapy after you felt minimal relief after 3-4 sessions?
Am I making sense, yet? Are you broken and need to be fixed or simply look at your problem with a different mindset? I don’t think our goal should be to “fix” but change. Also, who ever said your posture is bad posture? How would you feel if I told you that “good posture” is a myth and that your “best posture is your next posture?”. How would you feel if I told you they’re debunking “text neck” and “neutral lifting postures” through research? Do you feel betrayed, lied to, or confused? Heck, I still do when I learn new things sometimes.
Obviously, some broken bones or other injuries and ailments need to be corrected. But what if whatever hurts needs a different kind of movement, or if you simply need more sleep? What if you’re training too hard, too fast, and need help with your training program? What if what one provider recommended is not the best thing for you? What if rest really isn’t best?
As a physical therapist, I help empower people to make better choices. If you ask any of my clients if I have ever said I will “fix” their problem…I can guarantee you 100% of them will say no. Instead, most of them will tell you that I helped guide them in their journey to get better. They will also tell you that they look at their injuries in a different light! No two injuries are created equal, just like no two beings are created equal. That is why healing times for different tissues vary from person to person. Yes, I can provide a chart like this one
TISSUE HEALING TIMES
|Exercise Muscle Soreness||0-3 days|
|Muscle Strain||2 weeks-6 months|
|Ligament Sprain||1 week-1 year|
|Tendon||2 weeks- 8 months|
|Cartilage||2 months – 2 years|
|Ligament Graft||2 months – 2 years|
and it may provide information. As you can see, healing times vary! They vary based upon injury severity and based upon the lifestyle of the injured. Also, remember that just because a tissue is “healed” does not mean it is ready to perform! If I provide a table like this, I should also provide a table on nutrition, the importance of sleep, the effects of stress, and so forth. Why? Extraneous life factors really do impede the healing process. That is why we’re not fixing you. Just guiding.
For clarity, yes, the internet is helpful. Yes, the things you find may benefit you. That is why I make YouTube videos! However, stop thinking of these things as “fixes” and more of guides. I can guarantee you that performing these exercises once won’t make the difference! More than likely, it may take 3 + weeks to notice a difference!
Also, to my YouTube counterparts, stop telling people that they’ll be fixed with 5 exercises. You should know that new strength takes over 3 weeks to build! I know it’s a marketing tactic… but let’s spread the truth.
Healing takes time and education.