I can’t tell you how many times a client has told me about some seemingly odd thing that caused them pain in some far distant place and then immediately said, “Oh. Is that TMI?” or “Is that weird?” My answer is always, “No. The more information I have, the better and quicker I can narrow down the list of suspects that might be causing your pain, and the faster you’ll start feeling better.”
I’m gonna let you in on a little secret… most massage therapists see the same set of culprits causing the same type of pain on a regular basis, but that doesn’t mean that they’re the only possible culprits. It just means that they’re the ones we’re going to investigate and work on first because they’re the ones we see all the time. When you tell us “weird” or “TMI” stuff, we often get the jolt we need to look beyond the usual suspects.
We’re not the only ones who need the jolt. The same thing happens with every other type of healthcare professional out there. Take for instance, an inability to flex your foot/ankle upward. The usual cause of that is shortened calf muscles. However, there can be issues with the muscles and fascia between the 2 bones in your lower leg, one of the bones in your foot could be out of position, etc. While in PT after surgery that repaired a broken ankle, I had the same issue; they worked almost exclusively on the calf muscle. Turns out, I had an obstruction in the front of the ankle that was causing my limitation.
Unfortunately, my PT wouldn’t listen when I told her my other symptoms; neither would my orthopedist, and there are some massage therapists who won’t either. I won’t lie. The best ones will. They understand that you know your body way better than they do, and they’re willing to change their treatment plan when new information becomes available. They want to know about anything that might be relevant to the issue you’re having, even if it seems like it couldn’t possibly be related. You never know what piece of information will trigger the aha moment that will lead to you being pain free faster.
So the next time you find yourself wanting to say, “Ow. My butt just hurt when you touched that spot on my shoulder. Is that TMI?”… speak up. Just because the pain was in your butt or you didn’t use a more medical or technical term, doesn’t mean that it’s TMI. Often that’s the exact feedback we need in order to get you feeling better faster. And isn’t that why you came to see us in the first place?
If you want to help other people feel better faster, why not share this blog post. It can’t hurt, right? It may just be the nudge someone needs to tell their massage therapist about the weird symptom that turns out to be the key to their pain. Then again, maybe it won’t. But do you really want it on your head if it is? There are some handy buttons just below here that will make it easy and virtually painless to share.