When it comes to your body what type of car would you describe it as? A Ferrari? Lamborghini? Commodore? Or maybe just a beaten up old Datsun? Our bodies can be compared to certain cars much more closely than you think.
One common question I get asked in clinic all the time is “How long am I going to take to Improve?” or “Will I need on-going treatments moving forward?” and my answer is always the same… What type of car are you? You see due to how well we treat our bodies, how old we are, do we exercise regularly, are we stressed, what type of injuries have we had in the past, will all factor into how long we will take to recover from injuries but also how important possible ‘maintenance’ care or a check-up/service from time to time might be.
To keep it simple I like to think of all my patients as one of three types of cars:
- Reasonably new cars without too many kilometres on the clock, never been in an accident, and reasonably well looked after – let’s think of these as your stock standard Holden, Ford or Toyota;
- Older cars that have more wear and tear, have had multiple issues over the years, maybe even an accident or two, and would be thought of as more of an ‘antique’ – let’s think of these as the older Ford Fairlane or Datsun 120Y from twenty or thirty years ago;
- And finally your high performance cars which are finely tuned machines that require constant care and attention to ensure they are performing at their absolute optimum – let’s think of these as a Ferrari Formula One car.
- When we think of cars and how they may relate to us some need a lot more care and attention than others. If you are younger, have had less issues, look after yourself, and have not been in any major accidents, then more often than not you will respond quickly to the treatments we provide and in a lot of cases be able to look after any niggling injuries on your own once we’ve got you moving well and feeling great (besides the odd 10,000km service of course).
Unfortunately for most of us we have tended to neglect our bodies (and our cars) a bit over the years. We have spent too much time sitting, probably not exercising as much as we’d like, our nutrition may not be on point, and we might take on more stress than we’d care to admit. All of these stresses as well as any major accidents/injuries over the years will mean we are more like that 20-30 year old Ford Fairlane or Datsun 120Y. Even if we look after it as best as we can it still needs those regular tune-ups to ensure it is safe out on the road and moving in the right direction. Even when apparent small issues occur they seem to take longer to fix than the whiz bang new cars that seem to almost fix themselves these days. This is why for many of our patients, once we have you out of pain and finally moving great again, you might require periodic check-ups to ensure you maintain your mobility and function which will therefore lead to less pain and an overall more enjoyable lifestyle.
In our clinic we also treat quite a few elite level athletes in multiple sports and disciplines. I like to think of these guys and girls more like a high performance Formula One car. Due to the stress and strain they put on their body for multiple hours a day they require constant tuning and tweaking to ensure they are performing at their absolute peak. I personally see a lot of high level Golfers, Triathletes, Basketball players, and Crossfitters that require more treatment than most. Our treatment plan with these athletes is slightly different from others because their specific goals are a lot higher than most.
At the end of the day no matter what type of car we are the most important thing is to look after it as best as possible. We all need a team of professionals around us to keep us well aligned and staying on the road and just like you have a Mechanic, tyre/wheel alignment specialist and Panel Beater you may use at different times, our team of Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, Massage and Myotherapists, and Exercise Physiologists aim to keep you moving well and feeling great so you can live life with your foot planted on the accelerator and not worrying about flying off the side of the road!