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  • Writer's pictureMark Austin

You Can't Outrun Your Pain

My first job in Alberta as a physiotherapist was in Fort McMurray - a remote community with a very industrialized economy. I found myself in a very large, busy clinic where I was often at times the only physiotherapist working there while others came and went. I definitely had my work cut out for me as a new physio, but was lucky to have great support from my kinesiology and physiotherapy aide colleagues.

You see a lot working in a place like Fort McMurray. I saw people who had fallen from great heights; people who had shattered bones; broken necks and backs; ruptured muscles and tendons; crushing injuries; heavy equipment accidents, and so on. I also worked with many chronic pain patients in the community, where sometimes there was tremendous pain but no muscle, bone, or joint injury to explain it, but rather lots of maladaptive neurological issues at play. Others had undergone surgeries to try to fix one problem but were left with even worse complications.

Here's what I learned. For all of these people (as well as the people I see today), the biggest predictor of their recovery wasn't the severity of their injury. It was their ability to accept their pain, take responsibility for it, and work through it. This mindset is what got many back to normal while others struggled.

This is real life. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. There are no quick fixes. This applies to everything, including pain and injury rehab. What's actually more painful than the pain of an actual injury or chronic pain condition is the process of trying to run from that pain, rather than accepting it and facing it head-on.

Running from your problems, giving up when big change doesn't happen overnight, or constantly changing your approach out of desperation doesn't get you back to normal. Accepting your situation, taking responsibility for your own well-being rather than pointing fingers or looking to others to fix you, and being open to working through discomfort, and all the ups and downs that come with hard work-- all while persevering and staying consistent-- this is where the real reward is at. 💪✌️ If you are looking for physiotherapy in Calgary for your back pain, knee pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, arthritis, or so on, feel free to get in touch! Book in here.

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