Many people are raised with the belief that complaining isn’t good. And while I definitely don’t recommend whining at your work mates, it’s different when you walk into my myotherapy treatment room. In fact, if I don’t have all of the correct information, it can impact on how effective (or not) your treatment is.
So please, treat my clinic as the Whinge Zone - get it all off your chest, because the more I know about all the little things that are part of your pain, the more specific I can make your treatment and the easier it is for me to get you back to feeling great.
Here are some of the things I need you to tell me when you come in for a myotherapy session.
Previous injuries and procedures
One of the most important factors on how your body feels today is your previous injuries. Broken bones, strains, sprains or any kind of soft tissue damage are on the need-to-know list. Sometimes, an injury from 20 years ago can still be a factor today.
Surgeries and procedures that you have had can also impact on your body. Even if it was decades ago, the scar tissue can still affect how you move your body. Remember – I’ll see the scars anyway, so I will ask!
How the injury happened
It doesn’t matter if you were being clumsy, doing something you shouldn’t have, or if it was something that was unavoidable. By knowing how the injury happened, I can understand how it happened on a tissue and cellular level. And by understanding that, it’s easier for me to use the most effective treatment for that type of injury.
Sometimes you won't know, and thats fine. Some pains are gradual and build up over time from repetitive movement patterns. But if you can track your pain to a particular event, give me the run down on what happened.
What movements exacerbate pain
Have you noticed that particular daily activities can cause pain or strain on your injury? Let me know. This allows me to visualise which muscle groups are involved and narrow down where the site of the injury is. After all, pain can be in a very different location to the actual injury!
And don't worry, I've heard pretty much everything!
If wiping after going to the loo hurts - this lets me know that your spine rotator muscle groups may be involved.
If you've had to cut your hair super short because you can't reach to brush it - we're looking at the muscle groups that raise your arm up.
If you've had to modify any of your daily activities to make it easier to handle, let me know so that we can make restoring that muscle a priority in your treatment plan.
What has been done before, and if it helped
There’s nothing wrong with seeking out different practitioners to help with your pain. In fact, I encourage a multi-modality approach to health. But if you’ve used other treatment methods beforehand, it’s helpful for me to know what you’ve done.
This could be as simple as treating it at home with an icepack, using pain medication or seeking out the opinion of your GP. If you’ve seen another manual therapist, telling me what has and hasn’t worked will allow me to tailor your management plan. After all, there’s no point in using a treatment if you know you didn’t respond well to it last time!
If you’ve taken medication before the appointment
You might be someone who is sensitive to pain, and so you take some painkillers before a session with any kind of bodyworker. But if I don’t know this, those painkillers can make it harder for you to know if you’re in pain when we’re going through movements and determining your current status.
So if you have used painkillers or any medication that could influence how you respond to treatment, let me know. That way I can modulate the pressure I use and you won’t have to deal with exaggerated post-treatment feels!
The most important thing to remember
There are things that you might find embarrassing to share. But at the end of the day, I’m not here to judge you. We’ve all done silly things in the past. So it doesn’t matter to me if you tore a ligament in your foot when you were a little tipsy or broke your tailbone by falling on your butt! What does matter to me is that we get you feeling as good as we can today.
Is it time for your next myotherapy session? Now that you know the things I need to know, you can book in and get your pain sorted.
Mel is a Myotherapist based in Ferntree Gully. She has a special interest in chronic pain conditions, like fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, and more.