It is true, much of my career has been built from crisis.
As a sport physiotherapist, much of my clientele come to see me either because of an acute traumatic injury or chronic pain from overuse. Dependent on the stage of their injury, the assessment is generally followed by several sessions geared at minimizing inflammation, restoring range of motion and strength and finally making the long trek back towards reaching their performance goals. Realistically it also means an investment of considerable time, money and usually a disruption to their training or competition schedules. Clients are frustrated because they are in pain, not healing at the rate they would like and inconvenienced in their daily life.
But what if we took a different approach?
In many other areas of life we don’t wait for crisis before seeking professional help. Most of us see our dentist for regular cleanings to prevent cavities. We see our physicians for yearly physicals to make sure we are medically healthy. Why should tending to the overall health of your muscles and joints be any different? What if we started thinking in terms of wellness rather than crisis?
After years of treating crisis, I believe that seeing your allied healthcare provider on a regular preventative basis holds a lot of value and here is why:
- In a preventative model you know your strengths and weaknesses. A regular full body orthopedic exam looks at your individual architecture and identifies your weak links. When we look retrospectively from the point of injury, we can often identify an imbalance, poor alignment or a weak muscle group contributing or predisposing you to injury. By educating yourself on your individual body quirks and identifying solutions, clients can build a stronger and more structurally sound body less likely to be injured.
- A preventative model is cost and time effective. Among my clients who are lucky enough to have private healthcare benefits, the average amount of coverage is somewhere between $300 and $500. With an average visit cost of $85, benefits don’t take you far in an acute injury that often requires two to three visits a week for four to six weeks. Conversely by spending the same average visit cost four to six times a year to learn to prevent injury, you minimize expenditure and avoid out of pocket costs.
- Early detection leads to faster healing times. When we see someone 6 weeks post injury, not only do we have to contend with the injury but also the effects of compensation, immobilization and disuse. The end result is longer time spent in rehabilitation. In a preventative model we can focus on specific issues as they are identified and before they are subject to secondary deterioration and inflammation. Treatment becomes more direct and more effective.
- Prevention allows you to spend time doing what you love. As much as I enjoy my time with my clients, I’m pretty sure they have things that they would rather do than visit my office. In a preventative model, not only are recreational, competitive and lifestyle activities not disrupted, they are often enhanced. Less time is taken away from doing what you love because the time you do spend with me is minimized.
In short, I will be happy to see you at any point in your journey to health and fitness but whenever there is an option to help you reach your goals safely and free of injury, that is the route I would suggest.