That pain in your lower back has returned. Will you take ibuprofen and power through the day, or make an appointment with your back doctor of choice (FYI No Referral or Prescription* is needed to see a Physical Therapist!)?
As it turns out, your gender is likely to inform which (if any) action you take next. Studies show, women are more likely than men to seek out healthcare.
The result of forgoing routine healthcare is just what you might suspect; limited care is one factor contributing to serious diagnosis and shorter life spans for men. So, why exactly are men resisting trips to the doctor? And, more importantly: what can we do about it?
Here are some reasons men avoid going to seek out medical treatment: too macho, fear of the diagnosis, or uncomfortable with the exam.
Unfortunately, men who report traditional views of masculinity are not only less likely to go to the doctor, they are also less likely to be honest about their health history and current symptoms. Choose a Doctor/Physical Therapist you’re comfortable with and be honest with them about what’s really going on. This enables them to arm you with the information and a path toward treatment if necessary. The more often you’re open, the easier it will become, and the less you’ll cringe at the thought of an exam.
Avoiding the doctor won’t make your health issues go away. Lean on your support network (taking a buddy to the doctor doesn’t make you weak). And find a doctor you can really trust. You’ll thank yourself later for taking care of yourself today.
But guess what when you finally do make it to the doctor…
…the question you want answered never gets asked; even worse…
…Prior studies have found that up to 60 percent of physicians never ask their older patients if their lower back pain is affecting their sex-lives.
Well, I am asking now and I am here to help.
Speaking from experience, having had back surgery when I was 17, multiple relapses and trips to the doctor, as well as the hundreds of lives I have helped transform over my 20 year career as a physical therapy back pain specialist, that back pain excuses stop today!