“What is your why? “I am more of a scientist than a philosopher, but the question of “WHY” is extremely important in my business. To explain, let us use a long-time patient of mine, Matt as we will call him, for privacy.
Matt is 46, he has two young boys and has popped into my office every 3-6 months for the last 5 years. He usually complains about low back pain on his left side. It is always there to a mild degree but 1-3 times per year it “seizes up” and he can’t move. Same story every time. He swears he did nothing out of the ordinary. It often follows putting on socks or picking his kids toys up “wrong.” Can you relate? He is forced to miss work and lose money every time this happened.
When he first came in, he also had mild sciatic symptoms down his left leg. It was presenting as a classic disc bulge. Pain with sitting or bending forward. Pain with coughing, sneezing, or bearing down to go to the bathroom. Very straight forward. Quite easy to treat conservatively.
Nine out of 10 times we can diminish these symptoms quickly. 2-4 weeks. But….Getting rid of the problem or cause is another story. This is where your WHY comes in. Stay with me. We are getting there!
For a basic symptomatic disc bulge the first line of defense is always the Press-Up.
This is how you do it:
Each time Matt came in we followed our standard protocol. A physical exam followed by Press-Ups and some other “band-aid” treatment focused on decreasing his pain fast. We always put a 30-day treatment plan together including a series of home exercises to do. But once the pain diminished, Matt would disappear. I had also recommended that he commit to a maintenance schedule of once a month. This way we could keep him consistent with his exercises and eliminate these flare-ups every 3 months.
This time the symptoms weren’t the issue for Matt though. This time he had a WHY! In one month, he was going on a surf trip of a lifetime. The only issue was that he couldn’t get off of the ground let alone pop up on a surfboard.
This time he stuck to the plan! Wouldn’t you know it? He made it to his bucket list surf trip and when he came back for his first ever “monthly check-up” he told me he had been doing his exercises every day. Even on his trip! He told me he had never felt so strong and surfed so well in his life!
Change can be difficult, but once you find your WHY, there is no stopping you!