As a physiotherapist I derive no greater joy than a client asking me 'why'. It indicates an investment in their health and rehabilitation - the core traits that effective physiotherapy rely on. In seeking treatment for your injury or in wanting to improve the quality and/or efficiency of your movement you are placing a HUGE amount of trust in the knowledge and skill that your health professional has. However by not simply accepting what is said (without understanding) - in asking us 'why?' - you are challenging us to better ourselves for your benefit. You are challenging us to explain things fully, to stay on top of the latest research and best practice and to justify our clinical reasoning. By asking why, both you as the patient and me as the health professional benefit.
Our understanding of human movement, physiology and health is changing. The ongoing research conducted in universities and clinics worldwide is continuing to add to our incomplete knowledge base and understanding of the body. For many issues, how we treated injuries 10 years ago is very different to how we should be treating now. Our 'whys' should continue to change.
For example - our knowledge of the human brain and the role it plays in rehabilitation is changing every year. With new technology we are able to open up more possibilities. New fields such as neuroplasticity are allowing us to shorten rehab windows, create better outcomes and happier patients.
Your health professional should always be up to date on the latest research. Simply completing a university degree is not enough - our entire careers should be spent continuing to learn, grow and evolve. As a physiotherapist I should always be able to explain the why - and most importantly apply all of the knowledge and skills (especially the most cutting edge) that I have acquired throughout my career to you the client.
By asking 'why', you should be answered by your health professional with the latest evidence and recent statistics. If the answer doesn't satisfy you, keep searching. It's your body - you're only gifted one of them in this lifetime. You should always understand what is going on, what you and your health professional are going to do and why.
Make sure your health professional can 'articulate' ;) an answer.
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