Why “Good Enough” isn’t always enough for us

Pain Performance

Let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, there was a man who really liked going for walks with his dog. They would go over the hills and around the bends, until one day he felt a bit of an ache in his back after a walk.

He shook it off, thinking it would go away, and he kept taking his dog for walks – but it didn’t go away. He could no longer go over the hills or around the bends, so he went to a Physiotherapist who made him feel a whole lot better, and he was able to take his dog out for walks again. Hills were still a little bit painful, and going around bends was tricky, but he felt a lot better overall, so he thanked his Physio, told them how much better he was feeling, and cancelled his follow-up appointments because he felt good enough.

As Physiotherapists, we don’t just treat ‘back pain,’ or ‘hip pain,’ or even knee, neck or finger pain. We treat people, and people are more complicated.
At our clinic, we use a Pain to Performance model, and we believe that relieving your pain is only one part of our job. In order for us to give you the service you deserve, we want to help you feel better than you did before your pain started.

We do this by digging a bit deeper, to the true cause of your injury, and if we can fix that, we can help you long into the future by preventing that pain from coming back, saving you time and money in the long run, and hopefully stopping those cycles of recurring injuries and nuisance pain that seems to just keep coming back.

So what is the true cause of your injury?

No matter what type of pain or injury you have, there are usually a few causes.
Are some of your muscles weak, and are other muscles doing too much work and getting tired?
Are some of your joints stiff, and are other joints moving too much to compensate?
Did you have a previous injury and never fully recover? Is that other injury making you walk, or sit, or stand slightly differently, and over time that has caused the injury somewhere else?

Did you trip or fall because you don’t have the same balance that you used to?
These are all questions that you may not have thought about, but your physio has, because they know that once you start feeling better, this is the time to start fixing the causes of your pain, otherwise you are still at risk of it happening again.
If your plumber mopped up the floor but didn’t actually fix the leaking tap, you wouldn’t think the job was done. Just because the wet floor is now dry, it doesn’t mean the problem is fixed – and just because your pain feels better, doesn’t mean you’ve completely recovered from the injury.

If you are interested in making an appointment, or would like further information please call, Proactive Physiotherapy 07 40 536 222.

1. Tatiane da Silva, Kathryn Mills, Benjamin T Brown, Natasha Pocovi, Tarcisio de Campos, Christopher Maher, Mark J Hancock,Recurrence of low back pain is common: a prospective inception cohort study,Journal of Physiotherapy,Volume 65, Issue 3,2019,Pages 159-165,ISSN 1836-9553,https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jphys.2019.04.010.
2. Appeadu, M.K. and Bordoni, B. (2023) Falls and fall prevention in older adults, StatPearls [Internet]. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK560761/#:~:text=In%20approximately%20half%20of%20the%20cases%2C%20the%20falls,other%20fractures%2C%20traumatic%20brain%20injury%2C%20or%20subdural%20hematoma. (Accessed: 08 March 2024).
3. Hopkins C, Kanny S, Headley C. The Problem of Recurrent Injuries in Collegiate Track and Field. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2022 Jun 1;17(4):643-647. doi: 10.26603/001c.35579. PMID: 35693868; PMCID: PMC9159726.
4. Shahidi B, Padwal J, Lee E, Xu R, Northway S, Taitano L, Wu T, Raiszadeh K. Factors impacting adherence to an exercise-based physical therapy program for individuals with low back pain. PLoS One. 2022 Oct 20;17(10):e0276326. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0276326. PMID: 36264988; PMCID: PMC9584523.