As you may or may not know we love the Neuro Orthopaedic Institute (NOI) Group for its wonderfully easy and imaginative ways to help us understand the body and more specifically pain. Our patients love them too along with their wonderful illustrations. This particular “nugget” from their recent book Explain Pain Supercharged (2017) is fabulous and we would like to share it today.
Attributed to Peter Roberts, Adelaide, 2011
From The Explain Pain Handbook: Protectometer. Noigroup Publications 2015
The common findings on scans and x-rays are usually related to age changes- the kisses of time. Left and right differences are quite normal. We grow like trees- never the same left and right, adapting to the seasons and the weather. Like trees, we too can be resilient against the irrepressible forces of nature, heal ourselves and can seek appropriate nourishment.
Your body and any scans reflect your life story- not necessarily injury or pain. Google an image of Serena Williams (or any professional tennis player’s) dominant arm and you will see how different their two arms are.
Patients are naturally concerned about left/right differences in scan findings (or perhaps from what they’ve been told about their leg lengths by some practitioners). We grow like trees and can help conceptualise a person’s body image using positive, changeable imagery. Scan findings might need a deeper discussion, but this nugget can help break the ice.