Paging Dr. Google

I came across a very interesting article the other day titled, “Should You ‘Google’ Your Symptoms?” and it got me thinking. The article claims that 60% of Americans use a search engine before deciding to go to the doctor, and nearly “half of physicians use Google, Yahoo, and other general search engine to diagnose, treat, and care for their patients” (emphasis added).

While I’m not against you Googling your symptoms, let me say this: I believe you already know what’s wrong with you. This is especially true when it comes to chronic pain. You are the expert on your body. Period. Not your doctor. Not your physical therapist. Not some search engine. YOU are the expert. What’s also true is that I know you aren’t convinced of that fact.

But think about this: You already know that your knee pain is really connected to those “crooked” hips of yours. You’ve known for years now that your shirts slide off to one side of your body, and you’re pretty sure THAT’S why you have neck pain. And you don’t need a shoe salesman to educate you to the fact that your feet strike the ground differently, causing you to unevenly wear out your shoes, resulting in degenerative hip pain.

I hear it time and time again. Clients, when given the chance (i.e. when us “experts” shut up and listen), know exactly what to do and exactly when to do it. My job as a therapist isn’t to simply “give” e-cises. I have to listen to my clients and let them lead me down the therapy path to health and wellness. I simply have to ask the right questions at the right time, and then sit back and listen.

Trust yourself. Trust your instincts. Remember, that little voice inside telling you what to do is…YOU! When it comes to your body, you’re never wrong.

QUESTION: Do you consider yourself the expert on your body?