When should you be concerned if something is wrong? 

Sometimes you may feel different, move different, or limp and not sure why. Do you ignore this or address this? As a physical therapist, I wonder if I ignore too long or address too soon.

Hi, My name is Dr. Karen Ceraso. I am a physical therapist and want to chat about addressing your body.

I remember years ago I felt a bump during a self breast exam. I had 2 friends in one summer that were diagnosed with breast cancer. And just like that, I felt something too. So I went to my medical professional OBGYN (gynecologist). She examined me. She thoroughly questioned me. DId I have night sweats? Do I have a family history of cancer? Have I had a recent mammogram? Has another physical therapist examined me? The exam was impressive. And what was concluded? I have a rib that was a bit larger on one side. Really? Yep, really. If we compare our body side to side, we are all asymmetric. I know that! Duh! But on my own body, even as a physical therapist, I question my findings. I am a doctor of physical therapy, but should still not self-diagnose. Was I embarristed? Oh yes! I’m sure that any physical therapist would be. Did I laugh in relief? Yes. I was initially not thrilled to spend time making an appointment, missing a half day of work, going through the medical systems, and having a benign outcome. I was mentally prepared for a worse case scenario. What if I was right? I could have potentially saved my life. I am okay with being wrong. It was not a waste of time or my medical professional’s time.

When patients come to me and say “the doctor only spent a few minutes with me and they did not act concerned.” Good. That is the best case scenario to tell your doctor of physical therapy. If you feel like your medical professional may be wrong, by all means get a second opinion, and a third. Do what makes you feel like you have the correct diagnosis and why.

The opposite is also true. If you procrastinate in addressing an issue you believe is nothing, it may be more than you thought. Even with a medical type background, including a doctor of physical therapy, you need a medical professional to objectively examine and point you in the correct direction. One issue, if not addressed, can expand into a more complicated issue, and add to more problems.

Never feel ‘stupid’ or ‘overconservative’ or “embarristed” to address your physical or mental health. This is your body. You deserve a medical professional to provide you with proper care.