We all deal with aches and pains from the daily grind and the occasional tweak from the weekend warrior adventures. Most of these will resolve quickly with some ice and TLC. Other times these can stick around and begin limiting your ability to engage in the things that bring you joy. This is when I would encourage everyone to seek out someone who can guide them to an understanding of the root cause of the problem. Procrastination can cost you months of work when it comes to pain and recovery of function. Take action now before pain leads to desperation.
In a world not complicated by financial incentives, I would encourage anyone experiencing pain that seems to be inconsistent or for no reason should seek help. At the same time, I understand that we live in a world largely driven by greed which has consumed our Western medical model. So my more realistic expectation and ask is that once you have felt the same pain on more than one occasion and do not have a thorough understanding of the mechanism of the injury, you should seek guidance from a professional. I am very biased toward seeing a certified MDT provider but honestly, the most important factor is that you feel that the plan is customized for your life and that the provider is able to take the one on one time to help you understand. Do not go searching for someone else to heal you, they do not exist.
The magic pill that everyone searches for does not exist. There is no world in which you can go get your spine popped and magically have no more issues. Electrical stim, heat, cold, theraguns, etc. are not a fix for your problems. They can be helpful in reducing your symptoms but will never address the root cause of your problems. I wish it was as easy as hanging upside down by your feet or lying down on a super fancy traction device. I could just invest in one of these pieces of equipment and fly through patients charging a premium for something that takes me zero effort, oh how simple that would make things!
Breaking news: These things have all been around for a long time and have never healed anyone. The reality of dealing with pain, especially nerve-related pains, is that it takes hard work, dedication, and a desire to be better than before. When I graduated with my Doctorate in Physical Therapy I began seeing patients and quickly realized that I did not possess the skills or knowledge to truly empower patients.
This realization lead me down a path that involved more continuing education hours, money, and dedication to my craft than was normal for my profession. I initially thought this meant that I was just not as smart as the rest of my cohort, how was it that everyone else felt comfortable treating with the same knowledge I had? Must mean I just didn't understand. Luckily, I found MDT and realized that it was not that I didn't understand well enough, it was that the info that was drilled into us during grad school was outdated and not patient-centered. When you are worried about checking the boxes for an insurance company you cannot also have the patient's best interest in mind. To maximize insurance reimbursements you determine who has the best reimbursement rates and focus your energy there while doing the bare minimum for those with lower rates.
When thinking about all of these factors and determining when those aches and pains are worth a visit it should start becoming clear that preventative care is the best care. After that, you want to address the issue rapidly to avoid a long recovery process, getting screwed by the healthcare system, and reduce the need for multiple providers all trying to take their chunk of the pie. Another way to avoid this is finding a provider that is fee-for-service as they will have greater freedom to help you reach your goals. As stated in the beginning, procrastination can cost you months of work when it comes to pain and recovery of function. Take action now before pain leads to desperation.