This is something that goes unsaid in my office, but I can read it on the faces of patients. Today’s patient had suffered 6 months of nagging headaches and neck pain. After a few visits to the doctor for NSAIDs and muscle relaxants, he was referred to a neurosurgeon and pain management physician, an MRI was ordered, and his neurosurgeon referred him to see me.
3 visits into his therapy he has no pain. In fact, he had only minimal pain after the second visit and seemed a little paranoid that it was all just too quick and easy. After today’s visit, it makes sense to him, but he still seemed to want a more complex explanation. A few exercises and that was it. How could this be?
The master mechanics turn the same wrenches on the same bolts the same way. All the automated diagnostic help in the world (for cars or people) still can’t beat a mechanic’s fundamental knowledge of how something works, when it comes to getting something fixed quickly and easily.
I have no explanation for why neck pain and mechanical headache required waiting for neurosurgical and pain management referrals and an MRI. That’s a complex answer I don’t have. On the other hand, his pain was localized, symmetrical, and mechanical. That’s easy for most therapists.
I should have made something up about scoliosis, his “hip bones being out,” trigger points, or “compensation” for something like his wallet, and he might have found that more satisfying, lol.