By chatteris-osteopaths on Friday, February 13th, 2015 in Uncategorized.
Prior to Christmas my very kind neighbour pointed out to me that my car had been leaking oil on my driveway, something I was unable to see myself due to the fact that the oil patch was always covered by the car when I was there. Christmas being Christmas meant I was ‘far too busy’ to get round to taking the car to the garage. “It can wait – I’ll take it in the new year after the holidays”, I thought. Hmmm – not the best decision I’ve ever made as it turns out. My foolish idea to postpone trip to the garage turned out to be a very big mistake indeed!
For some reason I had decided to adopt the policy of ignoring the situation and hoping it would go away. This policy seemed to be working out just fine – until the noises started, that is! Immediately I heard these I realised that something was seriously wrong so I pulled over and opened the bonnet, only to discover the worst – a smoking hot engine which had run dry of oil…. Suffice to say that the engine is beyond repair and I am in line for an extremely hefty garage bill.
I know there will be plenty of you tutting and shaking your heads and thinking why did I not just get it looked at earlier. Why did I choose to ignore the signs? And you’d be right. I’m no mechanic, however I know how serious letting your car run out of oil can be but somehow I managed to do it anyway. Well, I can assure you that I will not be letting this happen again!
I see this situation from the other side all the time – not in relation to cars, obviously, but in relation to patients. So many times I see people come in to the clinic who have been suffering with a problem for weeks, maybe even months (sometimes years!) that they thought would just go away.
Perhaps they’d had a sore knee or shoulder in the past and it had improved within a week or two. This time however it was hanging around. They may have decided to give it another week or two, just to see if it would go away. This could go on for months until eventually they had decided enough was enough and it really needed some intervention. By this stage however the knee may be affecting the hip or back or the shoulder may have started to cause neck pain and headaches.
In this situation it’s then my turn to ask why didn’t they read the signs and come in earlier. Problems sometimes do last for a few days only and go away of their own accord, however if a problem is persisting for over a week or two then it should really be checked out, not only to treat the problem itself but also to stop it having knock-on effects elsewhere in the body.
Patients who have let their symptoms drag on can still be treated, it is however likely to take more time (i.e. more treatments) to unwind the problem that has developed. Taking swift action to nip things in the bud when they first develop is by far the best policy to ensure the best and most swift outcome. I notice that patients who had previously put off coming in to clinic and let their symptoms build up over time tend to now be those who come in as soon as any symptoms develop, knowing the sooner things are seen, the better and quicker the chances of recovery.
Many patients will also come in for a regular ‘service/MOT’, just as we all do for our cars. This may be typically be 3-6 times per year depending on their problem. Their osteopath will look for and treat any restrictions etc. in order to keep everything mobilised, reducing the chances of a future episode happening. This is very popular with patients and gives them confidence to get on with their activities.
So if you are suffering from a problem that isn’t going away then try not to be a dipstick like me – come and see us at the clinic to see if we could help. We are able to offer free 15-minute assessments where you can discuss your problem with an osteopath before you commit to treatment.
We look forward to seeing you in clinic soon and getting you back on track!