Years of full-time dance, hip surgery as a teenager and a semi-recent auto-immune diagnosis means that every so often my body goes a little bit haywire and throws out a variety of physical symptoms (a flare up) that impact my day to day activities. Yes, your physio can be sore too! The nature of our work means that we are physically and mentally active for the majority of the day. Which all adds to that accumulative strain we talk about in sessions. As a physio and ex-dancer I have the benefit of knowing my body reasonably well. And the nature of accumulative strain means that we can tip over the threshold to symptoms with a seemingly minor event.
What do we do?
So how do physio’s manage accumulative stain flare ups? Firstly – have a good team in place! Have all your strategies ready to go (or know who you can turn to to ask for help). That may be a partner or friend, physio, GP, PT, dietician, massage therapist – the list goes on! For me my auto-immune flare up presents as moderate to severe neural irritation in one arm. This is not super helpful with my job. Firstly we make sure my physio appointments are booked closer together to treat all of the things we already know make my body happier. I also get super strict with my food. I do this by avoiding things that cause more inflammation in my body and eating more of the things that make me feel good. As well as making sure I get more sleep. And making sure I have the opportunity to lie down/do my releases throughout my work day. This is why we are always asking questions about other things in your life – it all makes a difference!
How to think about it
Context is key. Especially in accumulation strain flare ups or brain overload situations. We are always looking at the big picture. There may be an activity that isn’t amazing for a particular body part but the overall mental/social/physical benefits mean we still want to include it but with modifications or extra releases. For example, when my hip is really cranky it doesn’t like walking for more than 15 minutes but it will tolerate cycling a bit better. The benefit for my whole system of being outside with gentle movement is worth having to do an extra long release session pre and post cycling. As your physio (and general cheer squad) we’ll always be asking you questions and teasing out info to help you make similar choices if needed.
You can find out more about accumulative strain here (Read more). If you have questions or need some help about creating a team or modifying activity ask your physio. Book in by calling 1300 842 850 or online at https://www.barefootphysiotherapy.com.au/book/start/