By Dr. Matt Stacey, Osteopath at North Carlton Osteopathy
At the end of last year I decided to start running again and unfortunately after six weeks of what I thought was a slow progression, I started getting hip pain. Unfortunately it turned out to be a pelvic stress fracture. Whilst this injury was extremely frustrating, it provided a good learning opportunity as an Osteopath. Whist we are always empathetic and understanding of our patient’s presenting issue, sometimes we might forget about what it is like to be injured and in pain ourselves.
So here are my key learnings and some strategies I found useful that I believe can be applied to most injuries.
1) Injuries can have as much of a psychological toll as they do a physical one.
– Being injured can be a really stressful time for a number of reasons especially if we are in a lot of pain as this is exhausting in itself.
– Being restricted in our daily activities such as sports, work or playing with our kids can cause a mental toll on us and I know I personally found this to be greater than the physical discomfort I was getting.
– I found the most helpful thing in combatting this was to focus on what I could do as opposed to what I can’t. This is where your Osteopath can provide guidance as to the activities that won’t aggravate the injury – most cases injuries respond better if we are able to maintain some activity compared with complete rest.
2) The only dumb questions are the ones that we don’t ask.
– Knowledge is power when it comes to being able to best manage our injury – it can reduce our anxiety around it and the mental toll it has on us. The key though is to get quality and accurate information which can be hard to sift through when asking Doc Google. Even as an Osteo I found myself reading through forums where people had a similar injury and now looking back I can see that the information on there was irrelevant, as everyone’s injury situation is different.
– As Osteopaths we try to provide as much information on an injury as possible but sometimes we may overlook something that is relevant to your specific circumstances – so the best scenario is that you fire questions at us so that we know you have the information you need.
3) Stay in contact with us.
– This can mean that if you walk out of the clinic and realise you forgot to ask a question it is best to call or email us straight away, rather than wait to your next appointment. Our management of your injury doesn’t finish in the treatment room and we are always happy to chat over the phone if you have any questions or you get any changes in symptoms that you are unsure of.
Dr Matt Stacey is an Osteopath at North Carlton Osteopathy, a dad to two youngsters, and an avid runner and cyclist – when his body allows! You can read more about Matt here. You can book an appointment with Matt, or any of the wonderful Osteopaths at North Carlton Osteopathy here, or call us on 9380 4626