Practitioner Language


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Language matters a great deal when interacting with people in pain. Words that are either misunderstood or not understood well can delay recovery and, potentially, worsen one’s symptoms.

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Here are a few examples of words or phrases that rehabilitation practitioners frequently use and how they are interpreted by individuals receiving care:

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1️⃣ Instability – lay individuals often interpret this word as meaning that their back could ‘go out’ at any time.

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2️⃣Wear and Tear – often interpreted as something is ‘rotting away’, there are no treatment options and the condition will not get better.

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3️⃣Non-Specific – often interpreted as the health professional thinks my problem does not exist or doesn’t know what my problem is.

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4️⃣Chronic – interpreted as ‘a few steps from a wheelchair’, will not improve or absolute.

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So, choose your words wisely when speaking with someone in pain. Sometimes, the best thing can be to listen, provide reassurance and stay positive. At the end of the day, the fact is that most musculoskeletal problems get better with time and no intervention at all.

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Posted on May 25, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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