My least favorite professor in graduate school had this saying. “K.I.S.S.” AKA “Keep it simple stupid.”
Dr. “Jones” as we will call him out of respect for his privacy was the type of professor who felt the need to read you the entire textbook as a substitute for preparing a lesson plan. It was extremely painful for two reasons. First off, his voice was the type of voice that was so slow and deliberate it was as if it caused him immense pain to utter every word. Secondly, he had no regard for the other 6 hours of class work and prep we had to do for every other subject.
But there was one bit of advice from “Dr. Jones” that saved me in graduate school and in my career. “K.I.S.S.” This was his advice for test taking. But it also carried over to patient care, I soon discovered. Why does this matter, you ask…?
Let us get to the point, shall we?
A patient of mine walked in the other day after many years. Shelly as we will call her was moving like the Tin Man. You know that feeling when your neck is so stiff you need to turn your entire body to change lanes? That was Shelly. Shelly was a 42-year-old workaholic that was proud of herself when she only spent 8 hours on the computer instead of 10! She said she had fallen asleep on the couch watching “The Bachelor” and woken up to an extremely stiff and painful neck. I tried to tell her that watching “The Bachelor” was the bigger issue, but she wasn’t buying it.
She was begging me to “crack” her neck to help with the motion. However, I had seen this situation enough times to know that she would hate me if I did. Suddenly, echoing from the depths of my memory came Dr. Jones’ simple advice. “Keep it simple stupid!” How could we improve motion and decrease pain without causing more harm than good? Well luckily, I have a simple range of motion exercise for this very problem.
Watch the video here:
Well Shelly was feeling better after a week of doing this exercise which in turn allowed us to get in there and mobilize the joints of her neck a little easier. Movement is key in these cases. But sometimes it’s important to know what not to do until the body is ready. In this case beginning with the most conservative option was the key to success!
I guess Dr. Jones’ class wasn’t a complete waste of time after all. “Keep It Simple Stupid!”