I love it when this happens…
For the third time four months, three generations of one family have shown enough concern about their health to go and do something about it. And I’m not just talking about making an appointment with a GP to get some painkillers.
Let me tell you a nice story and I’ll explain why it’s important:
So a few months back now a gentleman in his late 70’s came to see me with a bad back. Nothing serious, more stiff than anything, and just something that was stopping him from enjoying spending his time in the garden and walking long distance with his wife. He’d noticed it about two weeks before calling me.
And then, a month or so later, into my Physio Room walks his son. He’s late 40’s and had suffered from pain in his left elbow for about 3 weeks likely caused by his job – he is a glass maker meaning his hands and elbows are in constant use making him a candidate for “tennis elbow”. Again, nothing serious per se, but just enough of a concern to go an ask some questions and take specialist advice.
And just last week, in walks the above mans daughter, and original gentlemen’s granddaughter with an ankle injury that was threatening to prevent her participation in netball at school. Again, nothing serious, but just enough to cause a concern. She is aged 14.
Three generations of one family, all in a Physio Room within four months. And non of them in so much of any pain that they were ever forced to go to a Doctor and ask for pain relief, nor actually ever stop going to work, or ever miss out on doing the exercise they loved to do. There was only the “threat of it”.
Unlucky you might think?
Well no, not at all. The three different problems that the three different family members where “suffering” from are happening each and every day to most people. Maybe you’ve got a bad or stiff joint as you read this article? More than likely if you’re aged 50+. It’s just the gentlemen at the “head” of the family decided to go and do something about his problem BEFORE loosing any days of his life to inactivity.
And in doing so, he has passed on a very healthy habit to his son, who passed the same to his daughter.
And so the moral of the story is two things:
First, if you’re at the top of the family tree, say, in your 50’s and 60’s or above, don’t underestimate the influence that your healthy actions will have upon those underneath you and the opportunity that you have to STILL, instil a few very good habits to your own children (and grandchildren).
And second, when it comes to physical injuries like back pain, elbow and ankle pain, waiting rarely makes it better. Sure, the pain might go, but what about the root cause of the problem? That’s still there and will more than likely come back.
When it comes to being active and healthy for many years to come, finding the root cause of your problem and then working out how to stop it from coming back, any time soon, are much more important in the long run than simply easing pain.
Something that most certainly wasn’t lost on this family who recently came to see me and a healthy trait I’d encourage any family to model.
Article printed in the Hartlepool Mail “Feeling Great” Health Column, Wed 16th July 2014