Band-Aid

I was listening to a podcast on my flight down to Melbourne where a podiatrist was talking about bunions, but more importantly bunion removal surgery. Tasty, right? The point he was making was the misconception we have on what a bunion is, that it isn’t in fact a calcium formation, it’s actually the 1st metatarsal, which has been dislocated from years of squishing our feet into narrow shoes. What he talked about was how problems like a bunion can be reversed by turfing the footwear and increasing barefoot walking to restore the foot to its natural form. If something like this can be reversed, then why the hell are people still having half their toe chiselled off? Only to shove their feet back into the tiny shoes, which were the cause in the first place?

The problem I think we have in our modern day society is a thing I call the band-aid effect. We would rather quickly get rid of the symptom, than get to the bottom of the cause, to prevent it from returning. I see it all the time as an osteopath, people with back pain taking heavy pain killers, looking at steroid injections, opting for surgical intervention, the list goes on. Instead of searching for the underlying cause, we prioritise the symptom. Now done get me wrong, pain sucks, and it’s debilitating, but unless you get to the cause, it comes back, right?

I think it comes down to two things, education and effort. I don’t think majority of the public are educated about their problems, whether that be physical, mental or emotional, we’re brought up in the world with this “just get on with it” attitude, instead of seeking help, we just pop a band aid solution over the top and “soldier on”. When in reality, if your body breaks down, there’s a reason, am I right? And shouldn’t we being human want to find out what that reason is? That brings me to effort, maybe it’s all a little too “hard basket” and it’s just easier to remain oblivious to the real underlying problems (where’s that band aid?). It’s too hard to do the exercises, it’s too hard to eat broccoli, it’s complicated so I don’t want to talk about it. Just give me the shake, the ab-king pro, the booze, because it’s easier.

I’ve always been a believer in prevention is better than a cure, but the reality is, creating change isn’t easy. I look at it like a maths equation, unless you solve the algorithm you won’t find the right answer. Your body is the algorithm, you can’t jump to the answer, you have to work your way through it step by step to find the answer. You can’t always run from your problems, there aren’t band aids strong enough to patch up every problem in your life, so find the cause (the stilettos) solve the problem (burn them), learn from the experience and prevent it from ever rearing its ugly bunion shaped head again.

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