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Focus Physiotherapy offers Post-Surgery Physiotherapy Rehabilitation to patients of all ages.

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One of our physios can objectively assess strength, endurance and quality of pelvic floor with the use of real-time ultrasound

Don’t Become a Cyberchondriac

February 8, 2015

Have you heard of Cyberchondria?

It is defined as the distress the internet can cause you when you are investigating your own symptoms or injury.

Gathering information about anything is easy and fast as we all turn to the power of the internet these days.  But have you ever been tempted to research your latest ailment and found that there were a dreamstimefree_138803dozen or so potential diagnoses?  As you read, information can sometimes affect you so strongly that you actually develop more of the mentioned symptoms.  It could turn a tummy ache into the real belief you need an emergency appendectomy today!

When it comes to musculoskeletal injuries the information is often a bit more reliable; you sprained your ankle?–standard 48 hour management for an acute injury is pretty well known.  But what about those injuries that occur gradually over time?

Low back pain is a great example. About 80% of the Australian population will at some stage in their life experience back pain – most make a full recovery.  Symptoms of low back pain often do not correlate well with radiological findings. This means that somebody with severe pain may have no “damage” to the spine at all on MRI. Or the opposite could occur – a patient presents with minor symptoms yet the prognosis seen on MRI is bleak and surgery to remove a broken up disc seems almost inevitable. Pain is multi-factorial, meaning there are many factors which contribute to how your brain perceives pain – past pain experience and beliefs, upbringing, age, education and even cultural background

When you explore a search engine to diagnose your shoulder, knee or back pain you could be viewing many different personal opinions from people that have had ”the same injury”.  The problem is….multiple conditions often create similar symptoms in the same body region.  For example, the pain in the front of you knee could be due to patella tendinopathy, fatpad inflammation, bursitis, a stress fracture or patella femoral joint dysfunction. Which one is it or all of the above?

The best chance to get valuable, accurate and personalised information is and always will be your health professional.  At Focus Physiotherapy we have over 40 years combined experience between two physios and will be able to offer you an accurate diagnosis and an informed treatment solution.

Web-based diagnosis can cause severe anxiety, surely not a welcome side effect to the injury you are looking at.

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