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What Your "Indicator Light" Is REALLY Telling You


Think back for a moment to your last road trip. Before you hit the open road, you double check that you have everything packed and a full tank of gas. You have hundreds of miles ahead of you, but you aren’t exactly driving this year’s newest model sedan. In the back of your mind, you’re seriously hoping nothing goes wrong and that you make it to and from your destination without any problems. The worst thing you can imagine is getting stranded on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere, without any cell phone service.

Now, imagine your body is your vehicle and pain is a glowing indicator light (we all cross our fingers for and hope we never see). Let’s say you’re cruising along when suddenly, you see the dreaded indicator light turn on. Your heart rate increases and you get a gut wrenching feeling that your worst nightmare is about to come true. You wait for a moment before pulling over but you don’t hear any rattling and there’s no smoke pouring from your engine, so your vehicle must be fine...right?

You keep driving.

Hundreds of miles pass and you finally arrive at your destination…indicator light still looming. The vehicle made it this far, so it will probably make it back too. After a fun and busy weekend, it’s time to make the long drive back home. Just as you’re passing through the middle of nowhere, you feel an unnatural vibration and you start to lose control over your steering wheel. You check your rear-view mirror and see shreds of tire peppering the road behind you and get a whiff of burned rubber. Now, you are forced to pull over on the side of the road and in the middle of nowhere.

This is much like what happens when we first experience pain. A sensor somewhere in your vehicle (your body) tells the computer (your brain) that a problem has occurred. The computer does a “scan” to interpret the severity of the problem and determine if you can still operate the vehicle. Like most people, you will continue along your drive to avoid a costly and time-consuming pit stop to fix the problem when it first appears. We all know it's a gamble and some are luckier than others.

Now, if your vehicle was your body in this story, most people would try to drive on the donut for another 500 miles before they took the car to the shop. By this time, the damage isn’t as simple as replacing a tire. Now, the axle is busted, which means more time in the shop and more money to get it fixed. Had you gotten it addressed early on and fixed it when the light first appeared, you could have saved yourself a lot of worry, concern, time and money.

When most people first experience pain, their solution is to “wait and see” if it gets better on its own, but this can be a costly mistake. Take your body to the “shop” (physical therapy) when your indicator light first appears. If not, you could end up on a detour that dead ends at a risky surgery or worse, a life dependent on pain meds. See if physical therapy is the right pit stop for you and ask us about our complimentary Discovery visit. One of our expert “mechanics” will run a diagnostic and we can discuss the best solution to keep your vehicle running like a hybrid!

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