From Sun Up to Sun Down

By the time that you read this article, the chances are that the US Masters golf tournament will be over and all of the speculation about whether Rory Mcllroy or one of the other front runners will triumph will have been answered. In the run-up to the tournament, apart from spotting potential winners, one of the main stories revolved around Tiger Woods and his return to the competition trail following treatment for injury from physiotherapists and other health professionals.

Commenting on his comeback Tiger Woods said “People would never understand how much work I put into it to come back and do this again, it was sun up to sun down.” His comments are hardly surprising, given the champion he once was.

Getting to the top in any walk of life requires a measure of determination and hard work and getting back to ones best after a set-back requires an extra measure of grit and courage.  But such courage is not simply confined to top sportspeople. The determination to improve, to get better, to overcome injury or other setbacks comes from within and can be found in all walks of life. It’s something which physiotherapists and other health professionals see on a daily basis. Octogenarians recovering from a hip replacement, children regaining the use of broken limbs following a fall, the middle aged recovering from a rather too strenuous gardening session in the spring weather; whatever the reason, when we set our minds to a task it is surprising how the results will follow.

It is one of the key motivators and rewards of being in the health profession; seeing others improve, watching them stretching themselves to the limit in a bid to return to fitness. It also can be one of the prime challenges; balancing people’s desire to return to ‘business as usual’ against their ability to recuperate. Get the balance wrong one way and overwork could lead to a setback. Swing the pendulum too far towards caution and the ability to return to maximum mobility could be lost forever.

Getting the balance right, deploying your professional skills to the benefit of patients is challenging but success can be personally rewarding. Discharging an individual from your care as they step out renewed to live as full a life as possible marks a success point in a busy profession. Sadly the procession of those in need is never-ending and physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors and others could easily find themselves working from sun up to sun down in a bid to meet the ongoing demand.

Taking full advantage of time saving devices is one way to keep administration time down to a more manageable level. Electronic appointment booking, card payments, SMS text reminders, virtual assistant services; whatever the mix, finding ways to free up time will help busy health professionals to manage their day effectively. Who will win the Masters? We just don’t know but what we do know is that winning those everyday battles for fitness, fought by ordinary people of all ages, is for them every bit as important as any trophy could be.