“Dr. Google”…. the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

Internet search bar and doctor with stethoscope

If you own a computer…I’m sure you’ve typed in a medical related question into the old Google Box at some point in your life.  Was “Dr. Google” correct?  Did he assess your individual case and provide you with the correct diagnosis and treatment?  The increasing popularity of Google and other search engines has changed the way some people think about accessing medical treatment or care.

The Good:

It’s wonderful that people can access information 24\7 to find helpful tips and advice relating to general health and wellness.  This encourages individuals to take an active role in improving their health.  There are some credible sites related to Physiotherapy that give information regarding common types of injuries, as well as simple stretches to perform or when to see a MD or Physiotherapist.  It also serves as a nice tool for clients to obtain a little more background on their injury and what they can do to help once properly diagnosed by a Physiotherapist.

The Bad:

It’s not uncommon that we see a client after they have had an appointment with “Dr Google”.  Often those individuals sit down and tell you exactly what is wrong with them on the day of their first appointment.  Following a thorough history and assessment, “Dr. Google” is most often incorrect (or should we say the clients interpretation of their injury and what their research concluded).  Non-medical self-diagnosis can be dangerous in a variety of ways.  Every body is different and each person experiences pain and injury differently.  What one individual describes as sharp stabbing pain, another might describe as a dull ache…. both individuals could have the same injury, or they could have something completely different.  When clients self-diagnose and self-treat from the Internet they can actually slow their healing process and even extend the length of pain and dysfunction that they experience.   It is always recommended to first seek professional medical attention with any physical injury or discomfort to obtain the correct diagnosis and treatment plan according to your specific injury.

The Ugly:

What happens when people self-diagnose themselves from the Internet – Dr Google?  They search and search that particular “diagnosis” and find all sorts of terrible things!  A common search phrase is “low back pain” and there are 92,500,000 results!  People can find information that would make them think they shouldn’t worry about it to thinking they are going to need surgery or that they will end up in a wheelchair by next week!!  This causes far too much anxiety and worry.  People can end up searching for days… convincing themselves of all types of scary things, when in reality, they would have far less anxiety and stress (and waste less time) if they were to seek the advice of a trained professional from the start.

The Physiotherapists at Strive Physio are keen to assess YOU and get you back to feeling great! Call 07 4978 7868 or drop in to reception (Gladstone GP Superclinic) to make an appointment today.

Strive Physio