With the New Year upon us, we are legally required to blog about our fears for the upcoming year. (Hey, we don’t make up the laws—we just have to follow them.)
While we could talk about goals, resolutions, or IRS audits, let’s take this in a slightly different direction and look at the nature of fear itself. If you recall from our blog back in July (or if you’re well-versed in FDR quotes), that’s supposed to be the only thing to fear.
The truth of the matter is this:
We consider pain to be a gift because if you can’t feel pain, you aren’t aware of dangerous situations. In the same way, fear can also be a good thing.
If that seems strange to hear, here’s something to consider:
If you were on the African plains and didn’t have a fear of the big, fluffy kitty carefully watching you, it probably wouldn’t end well for you—and especially if you got close to take a selfie with her adorable cubs!
Fear is an essential tool that can keep us safe.
However, too much can become a bad thing. After all, fear can hold you back from applying to that new job or asking your potential soulmate on a date, right?
When you get down to it, context and balance are both important considerations with determining how healthy a fear can be.
Understanding treatment fears
In regards to various fears, perhaps one of the strangest is when people are afraid of treatments that can help them get better.
Yep, it happens—and it’s not quite as rare as you might think.
It would be understandable if you’re asking yourself how someone can fear something that’s actually a good thing, but consider this:
Some people are afraid of dogs (cynophobia), and we don’t know if there’s anything better than our canine companions!
Now, when we start discussing treatment fears, one that is common is the fear of needles (trypanophobia).
We’ve previously discussed trypanophobia here on our blog.You can read about this particular fear by reading the linked post—and when you do, you’ll learn about why there’s no need for trypanophobia here at our office!
Along with needles, another specific (and common) source of treatment fear for patients is surgery.
There’s actually a bit of irony when it comes to a fear of surgery. Some people are so afraid surgery will be needed that they put off coming in for treatment. In doing so, they manage to decrease the likelihood we’ll be able to treat the problem with conservative methods. Since their treatment is delayed, the odds become even greater that surgery is necessary!
(That’s what’s called “painful irony.”)
But here’s the thing:
Anesthesia makes surgery less painful. And we aren’t going to perform a surgical procedure on you without administering anesthesia. Unlike mad scientists in the movies, we aren’t cruel—and we certainly don’t perform unnecessary surgeries.
There might be some discomfort during the recovery period, but we have measures to help reduce this. In this case, the answer may be a matter of medication or controlling inflammation by using an icing regimen, or swelling with a cryo cuff, which are highly effective.
A real fear: unaddressed foot problems
If you think about everything we’ve discussed so far, you’ll see that there’s only one thing to fear, and that is an unaddressed problem.
Actually, two things to fear—unaddressed problems and that unused gym membership from last year’s resolution.
We can’t help much if you are faced with a recurring fitness bill (sorry), but we can give that foot or ankle problem of yours some attention! We’ll determine what is wrong, why it’s happening, and create a treatment plan to resolve it for you.
There are two basic approaches when it comes to controlling foot problems. Treatment choices either involve protection or correction. Protection is non invasive and involves externally controlling the problem. One of the most common ways to protect your feet is through a pair of custom orthotics. However, if the foot problem is more severe, correctional treatment may be necessary. This is internal and indicates surgical correction. The best way to avoid correctional treatment and have a shorter recovery time is to address the problem quickly.
Despite any preconceived notions you may have, there’s nothing scary about orthotics! If this is our recommended treatment, we will perform time-proven testing to ensure that you end up with a pair of custom devices that actually work for your unique foot structure and gait pattern.
For a truly frightening experience, go see our good pals at the Not-So-Good Foot Store!
(Seriously, though, don’t. There are better ways if you want to get ripped off.)
All of this begs the question: