When niggles become problems? By Wesley Montgomery

Too often we live day to day with a small niggle or ache that over time bothers us, but due to its intermittent nature, or our busy schedules we often push these aside to continue on with day to day life. 

Across the last 10-15 years, health care has become an increasingly hot topic in Australia, as we are becoming more 'body and health' conscious as a country. This has meant that the ability to access allied health professionals has become a common part of the general public's life. Adding to this the rising cost of private health insurance premiums, and the general public is looking to make the most of their extras such as physio, chiro and massage. 

It has meant that access to good quality health professionals is being made more readily available, so people are beginning to use these services more and more on a regular basis. This outlook on health care is paying off for many with their bodies as we are getting on top of our 'niggles' early, which actually has a marked effect on the ability to treat an injury or pre-injury before it becomes a problem. Once we have pain from an injury or 'niggle' for more than 6 weeks, it progresses from the acute stage and becomes a sub-acute or chronic problem. Not only does this equate to being worse at a pathological level, but our brain actually undergoes changes from this painful stimuli - making the issue both mental and physical. This psychological component makes it very difficult to treat as a physiotherapist, as we now have to address the mental aspect within our sessions, complicating the transition make to full health. 

To link all this, if we are able to utilise our readily accessible health resources at a prevention level (prehabilitation), or even just early in the injury process, it makes the overall issue much easier and quicker to resolve - rather than waiting for a niggle to become a problem. 

As a physiotherapist here at The Well I've found a lot of my clients value this approach to their bodies, and so it makes my outcomes with these patients a great deal better.

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