Anyone who has dealt with a health issue or injury may have already figured out that there is a direct connection between the mind and the body. It does make sense when you think about it, our body doesn’t do much without our brain telling it what to do. But, the deliberate, conscious messages we send ourselves also make an impact on our overall health and mobility.
For example, one thing we hear a lot from patients is something along the lines of “my stupid knee” or “my broken back.” This is all for fun and it gets the point across, just make sure you’re not talking to yourself in this way on a consistent basis. When we tell ourselves that our knee is stupid, or our back is broken, our actions and decisions are then affected by these messages we tell ourselves.
Here are some simple changes you can make in your self-talk that can make a big difference in your mood, mobility, and road to a better, more active life.
Instead of “my stupid knee,” try “my knee that I am grateful for that needs some work, but is strong and allows me to walk and get around my home and community.” Okay, that’s long, but you get the idea.
Instead of “my broken back,” try “my back that is strong and keeps me upright, and might have pain, but isn’t broken and can heal and get better.”
No matter what your situation or extent of actual damage, we can still be grateful for the body that we do have, and all that it allows us to still do. It is totally fine, normal, and healthy to be frustrated over what isn’t working, that’s what pushes us to want to get better, do better, and not just give in to pain and disability. But make sure that in that process of dealing with pain, injury, or rehab, you’re sending yourself positive messages. You’ll be surprised at how much it can help your recovery process.
One reason I have found that patients have negative self-talk when it comes to particular parts of their body has a lot to do with the messages they’ve been told over the years from other health professionals or friends with similar issues. I have had many patients told by a medical professional or family member that their “back is broke,” “you’re x-years old, what do you expect or “your MRI/x-ray shows that you’re bone-on-bone, your joints are arthritic, etc.” This sends the message to us that there is something very wrong. And that just because of our age, imaging results, or history of injury, there’s nothing that can be done, we’re damaged goods. This usually leads to self-imposed limitations. We walk less because we’re worried about wear and tear. We sit more or lie around more because we’re worried about inflaming something. These are the very things that make a bad situation that much worse.
So, if you’re ready to stop the negative self-talk, want to get a realistic idea of just how “broken” you actually are (or more likely are not), or want to find out if your situation is salvageable (I’m 99% sure it is!), call your local Physical Therapist. We are experts at evaluating the human body, knowledgeable on movement, function, and quality of life issues, and trained in being able to parcel out what is an actual permanent, point-of-no-return issue versus a physical condition that can be improved, oftentimes in a way that is very surprising to the patient at the end of the rehab process. We have had patients cancel surgeries and injections, eliminate pain medications, and get back to activities they never thought possible. What do you have to lose?
If you would like to schedule a free consultation over the phone or in-person with one of our Doctors, just click this link https://www.thegrpt.com/events-and-offers If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, leave them in the Comments section, we read and respond to every one!
In good health,
Dr. Ashley Bertorelli, Physical Therapist and Founder of The Green Room Physical Therapy