3) "I know I'm in pain because of my bad posture"
I actually like my patients to have good posture, but it's probably not for the reasons you think, and this is definitely one of those ones where perceived importance and actual importance are much further apart than you realise.
The reason I like my patients to have good posture is actually partly down to aesthetics. If you think you look good and enjoy having good posture, then it's likely you're going to have a more positive relationship with your body, and I want to promote that as much as possible. But in reality the most important thing in regards to posture, is to not be in the same position for extended periods of time.
Our body is constantly repairing itself, and these new tissues get aligned through movement. The key word here is movement. If you have perfect posture all the time, but don't move much, then you're still going to develop restrictions, which mean you're likely to be less dynamic and are then much more likely to experience pain. In fact you're just as likely to experience pain if you have perfect posture but don't move, as someone who has poor posture and doesn't move. Our bodies are a bit like pumps. Changes in pressure are occurring all the time, through a mixture of breathing, movement and other clever processes that allow everything to flow throughout your body, from blood to lymph, and keeping this flow healthy is extremely important in helping us reduce the chances of pain and discomfort. So the next time you're worried about poor posture, just get yourself up and about rather than stressing about the best position you should be in. There is no poor posture, only a body that lacks movement.
- They show you everything that has happened to your body:
There have been numerous studies into abnormalities found on scans in asymptomatic people. One found that 37% of 20 year olds, and 96% of 80 year olds had some form of disc degeneration. What's important to remember in this study is not how many people have some form of disc degeneration, but how many people have something show up in a scan but have no pain at all. If so many of us have degeneration but no pain, how useful is it to be told that degeneration is the cause of your pain?
- You might get a different diagnosis from different physicians from the same scan.
When you go and get a scan you would expect a degree of consistency. After all it's just an image. However different diagnosis from the same scan can vary dramatically. Take a study of a 63 year old woman with chronic low back pain. She had 10 different scans at 10 different facilities, with the result yielding 49 distinct findings. So is one right and the rest wrong? Or are all of them right? How would you feel if you were given 49 different diagnosis? Scans are of course a really important part of modern medicine, but we might be overusing them. Pain is complicated and it's important we don't associate our levels of pain with scan results.
If you would like to know more about your pain, what might be happening, and how you can go about getting pain free then please don't hesitate to get in touch.
You can call us on 0208 088 0533 or book online at www.athealth.london/bookings and have a chat with one of our osteopaths.