Welcome to the second installment of The Physio Workshop's blog series! Today, we're diving into the often overlooked and misunderstood aspect of musculoskeletal problems—the true underlying causes. While this might appear to be a straightforward topic, it's far from it. Frequently, the actual reasons behind a problem are sidelined or remain unexplored. A diagnosis, while important, doesn't automatically unveil the core origins of the issue.
Consider a scenario: a patient visits a GP complaining of pain around the scalp region. After some consideration, the doctor announces the diagnosis as a headache. Well, obviously! But the pertinent question isn't just the diagnosis; it's the 'why'. What's causing the headache? This distinction is crucial, especially when the treatment seems as straightforward as taking painkillers. Yet, if the headache results from the patient repeatedly banging their head against a brick wall, painkillers won't be the solution. The key lies in addressing the underlying cause—stopping the head-banging.
While this example is a bit hypothetical, it bears similarities to another situation: visiting a therapist with complaints of back, buttock, and leg pain, only to be diagnosed with Sciatica. Sure, the irritation of the sciatic nerve is the immediate issue, but it doesn't shed light on what's causing the irritation and, more importantly, why it happened in the first place. Is a compressed disc or a tight muscle responsible for the nerve irritation? And if so, what's driving this compression? Identifying the root cause is where the crux of the matter lies.
Imagine a patient with poor sitting habits, leading to muscle fatigue and tension that results in nerve compression. Even after the initial problem is treated, they might continue to experience issues if the underlying habits aren't addressed. It's not just about understanding the source of pain—it's about comprehending the reasons behind it. This principle holds true for various injuries as well. Take a hamstring strain, for instance. While the strain might have occurred during a specific activity, there's usually an underlying reason why one side was affected and the other wasn't. Identifying and addressing this reason is vital to preventing a recurrence.
These insights are what Nav, our expert, brings to the table. With a deep understanding of the musculoskeletal system and an emphasis on identifying root causes, Nav can unravel the complexities behind everyday problems. It's about not just treating the symptoms, but also understanding and resolving the underlying issues to pave the way for lasting relief and prevention.