It’s the end of week 3 and I’m starting to feel every single day in my bones. At the same time, it’s hard to believe we are a quarter of the way through semester one already. The pace is so swift. At times it feels like I’m barely keeping up and then suddenly I’ll find myself answering questions in a lecture as I realise some of this is starting to make solid sense. The best advice we’ve been given is to just keep on keeping on, to stay on top of the workload, on top of our stress levels, and to enjoy it. At the end of the day, it is a fun course and I’m still feeling really lucky to be on it.
In terms of anatomy and physiology, we’ve been working on the hip since week one. I can now name all of the hip muscles and their actions – a task which was incomprehensible a few weeks ago. I could probably draw them on demand, thanks to The Anatomy Colouring Book by Pearson – a nifty little find. I’ve never thought of myself as a visual learner, coming from the background of being an English graduate, but I have to say that ‘colouring in’ is really helping. I need to become a visual learner, and a visual thinker, if I’m going to have a hope in understanding the body in the way I need to as a physio. So colouring in on the train on my commute might seem like a childish endeavour from the outside, but I’m busy forging new cognitive pathways as I do so! And, it’s a pretty satisfying endeavour, it has to be said.
My latest work of art! This is from the Pearson book but I’ve also heard good things from my classmates about the Netter’s version.
The hip anatomy is starting to come together for me, although I really need to start getting in some more extra-curricular practice on the passive movements we learned so far. I’ve located a few videos on youtube that, together with the stick-men notes I’ve been taking during practical demonstrations and the use of my fellow physio students as practice patients, I hope can start to make my practical skills a bit more fluent. There’s so much to remember but I can see little bits and pieces clicking together.
Here’s a demonstration by physiotutors.com of part of the hip assessment skills we are currently working on.
We also take a module called the Principles of Exercise Therapy. I’m absolutely stoked about this one. The purpose is to essentially turn us into ambassadors for physical activity, a role we will all hopefully take into our practice when we qualify. So far we’ve been learning about the massive potential of prescriptive exercise therapy to save the NHS significant amounts of money by harnessing its power to prevent diseases such as type 2 diabetes, strokes, and coronary heart disease. Here are some figures from the NHS website itself:
‘It’s medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have:
– up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
– up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
– up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
– up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
– a 30% lower risk of early death
– up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
– up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
– a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
– up to a 30% lower risk of depression
– up to a 30% lower risk of dementia’
To lower our risks of these conditions, we need to be engaging in 150 minutes of physical exercise a week as a minimum. So why aren’t we? I’m guilty of having periods of inactivity but the sad fact is that most people never hit these targets. What we are learning in this module is how to change that mindset and motivate people into realizing the potential and proven benefits of exercise. For me, its an exciting responsibility. I’m looking forward to not only motivating and influencing patients, but also myself, my friends, and my family. Why wouldn’t I want them all to reap those same rewards? The difficulty is making physical activity relevant, functional and enjoyable, rather than turning it into a masochistic endeavor tied into unrealistic ideals of body transformation. It will be no mean feat!
Another week down then, and a head full of ideas. Can’t wait to see what the 4th week will bring.
Any questions or comments on any aspect of this blog or my experiences so far, please feel free to contact me.