The internet recently turned 30 years old, and it’s even younger when you only consider the time from which it became mainstream. Yet, in just a relatively short period of time, it has changed the world immensely. In particular, it has made many things instantly or very quickly available. Hungry? Uber Eats will deliver within 30 minutes. Need something? Amazon can deliver on the same day. Bored? Watch a movie on-demand on Netflix. Want the news? Catch up on Twitter through 280-character tidbits. And by the way, why do pigeons bobble their heads? Just ask Google.

Is Our Patience Waning?

While the internet has blessed us with many conveniences in our daily lives, it has also brought about some significant consequences. One negative effect is the erosion of patience and the rise of instant gratification. We’ve become conditioned to having or getting things fast, and we can easily get frustrated and annoyed when we have to be patient. This is problematic with physiotherapy treatment because technological innovations have not rapidly influenced human physiology like they had on society over the past few decades.

When we experience pain, we want it gone immediately in the easiest way possible. We often favour quick fixes over more effective solutions that require some effort. The body has an incredible capacity to heal and adapt, but the process takes time. Instant or quick changes are usually just transient, and to expect anything different is often unrealistic. In some cases, the symptoms of an injury or chronic condition are irreversible and must be managed long-term.

Success Takes Time

The success of physiotherapy depends largely on patient expectations. It is critical for the physiotherapist to explain the timeline for recovery, and for the patient to understand what recovery will look like. To quote Martin Luther King: “You can’t fly, then run. You can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, keep moving.” It takes time to achieve lasting health benefits, but slowly and surely it can be done.


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