If you're not a psychologist or healthcare provider, you might be surprised to learn that there has been a plethora of research regarding an individual's health ownership. That's right. As the question implies, some people think that they have more direct control of their health than others. The terms most commonly associated with this area of research are Internal vs. External LOCUS OF CONTROL. As you could probably guess, someone who has a strong Internal Health Locus of Control believes that they can control their own health. Conversely, someone with External Health Locus of Control believes that their health success lies in the hands of fate or in the hands of "powerful others" (physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, etc.). You see, the research is abundant in supporting the notion that people who take ownership of their health tend to be healthier overall.
Wellness Regarding general health, the best way to take ownership of your health is by maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. Keep a healthy weight and maintain your flexibility, strength, balance, and cardiovascular fitness to prevent and manage a wide variety of issues. If you are unsure where to start, consider a wellness program to help get you motivated and owning your health. You won't develop a dependance on anyone but yourself if taught correctly, meaning there is plenty you can do on your own without being a gym member.
So what about people with aches or pains?
From the Eyes of a Physiotherapist If you have back, neck or extremity pain, know that YOU have the ability to treat yourself. Robin McKenzie, world renowned physiotherapist and author of Treat Your Own Back, would say that "within each patient lies the ability to treat themselves." A thorough evaluation via Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy should quickly find certain positions and movements that YOU can adopt and utilize to get quick and lasting relief. This goes against many mainstream treatments where the treatment or manipulation or adjustment is only applied TO you, and you are not ultimately taught how to stay better. This is not to say at all that appropriate hands-on treatment is not beneficial because it very much can be and is utilized here as needed. What I'm saying is that whoever is treating you should also be giving you the tools to take ownership of your health and manage your own issue. RARELY is a low back, neck, or extremity issue fixed with one treatment of any type, and back problems tend to pop back up even with the best treatment. (approximately 50% of low back pain patients will have recurrent low back pain) So, how nice would it be to know how to manage it yourself the next go around? This is the epitome of the McKenzie Method and ultimately the goal of treatment at Somerset Spine & Performance Physiotherapy; to get you better as fast as possible all while teaching you how to prevent re-injury. Results can be seen in as little as 2-3 visits. (this is especially true if you come in early) No referral is needed and the best candidates for treatment are anyone who wants to function without pain. If you have any of the following click the links to see if you would be a good candidate for the McKenzie Method. (these are not the only issues treated but perhaps the most common) Back Pain Neck Pain Shoulder Pain Knee Pain For more information about Somerset Spine & Performance Physiotherapy, visit LivingBetterPT.com