In the beginning….

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short easy words like “What about lunch?”” – Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

Welcome everyone to my first blog post! I suppose the best place to start is in the beginning, and in the beginning is usually where you find an introduction. So to the introductions….

My name is Jennifer and I am a physiotherapist working in Newcastle who enjoys a little knitting and cuddles with my beauty of a cat, Delilah.  In all honesty physiotherapy is a career I fell into.  I tripped over my love of anatomy and mechanics, stumbled over my intrigue of how the body works, and landed flat on my face in a physiotherapy uniform.  It was only then, when I began my journey into physiotherapy practice, that I realised the enormity of what I was missing from all that theory I had learnt in my time at university.  It was people, real-life actual people, and no two people were the same.  My patients didn’t just come to me as the university case studies would suggest, as a disembodied neck, knee or shoulder with identical parts to the last neck, knee or shoulder I saw, whose pain would disappear as soon as it was healed, and would be ‘fixed’ by using a mathematical formula to identify the protocol of treatments that the books said would work.

People are complex creatures, a fact that is often underestimated or even ignored.  Every single person is a unique entity that will exist on this earth only once in this form.  They each arrive at the door of my treatment room with their own individual thoughts, beliefs, knowledge, understanding, attitudes, life experiences, memories, emotions, perceptions, social structures, family, friends, acquaintances, hopes, dreams, aspirations and expectations, and that’s even BEFORE we get onto the biological stuff!

How easy my life would be if pain and injuries recovered as simply as a mathematical formula:

Injury/pain+ (Treatments+Exercises for said injury/pain) = fixed!

But of course, it just doesn’t work that way.  The outcome, and likelihood of a good outcome of rehabilitation is affected by all of those factors that make the patient a person, not just an injury.  Though there is not a lot I can do to change many of those factors, what I can hope to influence are peoples thoughts, beliefs, knowledge, attitudes, emotions and expectations to give them the best chance of recovery.

In essence, the more people understand about themselves, the more they are in charge of themselves.  The aim of this blog is to let people know some of the things that we wish everyone knew, and ultimately give people the power they need to take control of any current or future injuries or pain.

There are many physiotherapy blogs out there aimed at high level sportsman who already have some sort of knowledge of the human body (or at least they think they do….this is regularly up for debate), but the majority of the people I see in clinic don’t want to run super fast, jump super high, or lift super heavy.  All my patients want is to be able to put their on bra on, shave their own legs without having to get their boyfriend to help, sit on the floor so they can play with the grandkids, go back to work.  All normal daily activities are at a standstill, many have lost their independence and as such they have become lonely and isolated.

So the intention of this blog was to explain things in a way that everyone can understand and let people in on some of the things that we wish everyone knew, ultimately giving people the power they need to take back control.  Like Owl from Winnie-the-Pooh, my spelling may be questionable at times, but in the end, I’m all for spreading knowledge!

I’m starting with a highly misunderstood sensation….pain!  Do you really know what pain is?



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