So you’ve gone and hurt yourself, huh? You’re a gung-ho weekend warrior with a twinge in your back and aren’t sure what to do about it. This isn’t unusual.
We get all kinds of people coming through our doors who’ve injured themselves in brilliant and creative ways.
As I sit here compiling this literary masterpiece, a client walks in with back spasms that are causing him visible discomfort. “How’d that happen?” I say. “I was choking on some long grain rice and coughed so violently that I threw my back out” he replies. Believe me when I say we’ve seen and heard it all. You may find yourself asking “What kind of treatment am I supposed to get?” With all the various types of sprains and strains you may be unlucky enough to receive, where to start can be an overwhelming decision. Here are a few things to consider:
1.What is your level of pain?
If you’ve got a full-scale broken back, you’re going to want the emergency room and not deep tissue massage. An honest evaluation of the pain you are in/damage you have done is important at this stage. Open wound? Hospital. Arm dangling at a weird angle where you KNOW there isn’t a joint? Hospital. Tightness in the lower back after trying the caber toss for the first time? Whole Therapy! While our therapists are often told that they have magic hands, they cannot perform lifesaving surgeries or repair broken bones. We’ve had people come in to see us that could barely move let alone stand being touched or physically manipulated in any way. Not being a hero at this point and seeking medical attention is best. On the reverse side of the coin, going and waiting in an ER for 10 hours only to have a Dr. tell you to see a physiotherapist isn’t a lot of fun either.
It can be tricky sometimes to gauge the type of potential damage that may have been done after you landed on your back in the middle of the Rideau Canal whilst distracted by that delicious Beaver Tail in your hands. We get that. While it’s always best to err on the side of caution, be realistic. The hospital staff won’t thank you either for taking up their time with a minor scrape or the proverbial bobo.
Now that you’ve determined you don’t require immediate medical attention, you’re looking for some pain relief, rehabilitation, and a plan of action for your recovery. The next step is to..
2. Consider the type of injury.
Chances are, if you’ve rolled your ankle you’re going to want a more rehabilitative and active treatment; most likely a visit with our physiotherapist, or our chiropractors. If you feel the situation is more muscle or tissue related, you could also consider our team of massage therapists.
One of the great things about our multi-disciplinary approach is how perfectly our services complement each other. We often have clients come in for “the double”. This usually consists of a massage treatment to soften you up followed by a chiropractic adjustment to straighten you out! We also double up on the physio and acupuncture fairly often. Perhaps the most effective combination of all though, is the combination of our minds. Each practitioner here will view things in a slightly different way as their training and expertise dictates. It’s common practice amongst them to pick each other’s’ brains for answers to tricky questions involving your rehabilitation. It’s this collaboration upon which the Whole Therapy philosophy is based.
3. What can I afford?
Another thing to consider when booking an appointment is your insurance coverage. Many of you will have private insurance that allows for some spending on different types of clinical services. Maybe you’ve got coverage for physiotherapy but not chiropractic. Perhaps it’s the other way around. Perhaps you’ve only got coverage for one type of service or perhaps you’ve got everything under the sun covered. It’s worth finding out before you call in so that we can better serve your budget AND your needs. That being said, sometimes your maintenance program will continue after your benefits have expired. Don’t worry. We want to see you as little as possible but as much as necessary. That means finding out together what a maintenance plan looks like for you. The initial treatment and following few appointments will likely be closer together, but as you progress from injured to pain-free to functional, the frequency with which you attend will likely decrease. Benefits are wonderful in that they can mitigate the cost of rehab, but they should not dictate the extent of your rehab. Consider this.
So don’t worry. Hurting yourself happens, whether it be from coughing up rice, tossing around cabers, or falling while skating. We’ve seen it all, remember?
Hopefully this information helps you figure out where to start. If you’re still stumped, give me a call. We can figure out together how to get the ball rolling.
Pat Moore is the office manager at Whole Therapy. Pat works alongside a team of dedicated professionals and is here to help ensure that your visit at Whole Therapy is as pleasant as possible. For more about Pat, click here!