You mean you ‘googled it. Significantly different than research.

Hello! My name is Dr. Karen Ceraso. I am a physical therapist, and today I am going to chat about self-diagnosis.

What you tell me about your body, your history, your current status is so important. It helps me to help you. I find that more often than not people come in and tell me what they have. “I have a hamstring tear.” “I have a slipped disc,” “I have Achilles tendonitis,” “I have tennis elbow.” People google their pain symptoms and here comes a random explanation. Before you know it, you have diagnosed yourself with multiple diseases, dysfunctions, impairments, and considered yourself a candidate for procedures and surgeries. The obvious problem is the computer is not talking to you, or watching you move, or touching you. And, an even bigger obvious problem is that it is a computer, not a human. If physical therapy school was that simple, my degree would be from the University of Wikipedia.

Let’s revisit some comments I had this week: The “hamstring tear” was spinal stenosis. The “slipped disc” was a pelvic rotation and the “calf pain” and “tennis elbow” were both coming from the spine.

The body is complex. There are so many systems to consider. Sometimes your PT diagnosis is easy peasy for me. Sometimes it takes time for me to say “this could be this, this could be that.” What I do love about everyone “researching” their symptoms is that it shows me your self-involvement. You care. You want to know what is going on with your body. You want to rid, or manage your symptoms and prevent reoccurrence. With that said, go ahead and google – I can’t stop you. I do encourage you to then make an appointment with your Physical Therapist before you get in over your head. In the future, we will chat more about what saying you “researched something” really means.