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Analogy: Your best friend

There are few analogies that I use quite often when I hear doubts from the patients, like; "why should I be doing this", "do I have to quite my job" or "my doctor said I have Degeneration, is that end of my career". These queries might just seem to be a question mark to us, but most of the time a patients prognosis depends on how you answer it. Since treatment is not just about curing the physical aspect but to resolve mental and psychological part as well.

Seesaw theory: When patients ask "Why am I getting this pain after these many years?". Well for starter; that is a valid question. When someone has been working in the same job for so many years without any problem. How come all of a sudden he/she gets this sharp pain for no apparent reason. Best analogy is to explain how our body needs to be balanced like a seesaw.

My first question would be; "In your regular day how often do you see yourself in extension compared to flexion". An average person normally spends 80% of the time sitting or looking down and the rest standing or walking. If you compare it with the seesaw you can imagine how it looks! That's right; unbalanced and heavily tilted to one side.

Interestingly, treatment is even easier. All you need to do is balance the seesaw. If you lack extension that's exactly what you put into your treatment regime.

Sandwich theory: This is an interesting analogy as it guides the patient to be independent and return to pre injury state safely. When some one ask, "Can I return to my hobby/job (gardening, cleaning, desk job etc.)" or doubt if they can ever get back to normal, I prefer to explain them about "Sandwich Theory".

If a person with knee pain is having a hard time going out for a walk and is in a recovery stage, adding this theory into the exercise regime will help them a lot. All you have to explain is; start your activity with an exercise (prescribed by a physiotherapist), then go out for a walk/run/doing gardening etc. then close it off with one more set of the same exercise.

Let me know if you use any other analogies during your treatment session in the comment section.

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