Say What?! 5 Reasons NOT to Google Your Symptoms

TruMove—promoting healthier living through movement care and education in Overland Park KS, the greater Kansas City area, and beyond.

In today’s technological world where we have instantaneous access to vast amounts of information literally at our fingertips via the Google information highway, it is tempting to take matters into our own hands and self-diagnose our medical conditions.  Surely if we’re able to pinpoint what is causing our own pain based on what our Google search turns up, it will speed recovery while saving time and money, right?  Ummmm, no—in fact, searching Google for information about your symptoms is more likely to have a detrimental effect, slowing recovery and increasing costs as it takes your body longer to heal.  Here are 5 reasons to avoid Googling your symptoms:

#1  Many diagnoses have similar symptoms.

When you experience pain or discomfort, it isn’t hard to understand why you want answers quickly…and yes, Google can give you quick answers.  However, are they the correct answers?  Google can match symptoms to a diagnosis but it cannot assess other important factors.  As physical therapists, we take into account your symptoms as well as your daily activity, nutrition, personal history, family history and more.  We assess full-body movement and treat the body as a whole unit to get all parts moving properly, minimizing pain and recovery time and maximizing the results.

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#2  Anyone can post on the internet.

It is wonderful that people from around the globe can share their joys, struggles and life experiences with one another through blogs and online forums.  Unfortunately, the high volume of information available through Google searches sometimes makes it difficult to distinguish fact from fiction.  You do not need a medical degree or license or any sort of medical education to give medical advice on the internet.  This yields a great deal of misinformation dissemination.  If you’re looking for new recipes, craft ideas, or do-it-yourself tips, then Google search away!  However, proceed with caution when receiving medical advice and health recommendations via the internet.

#3  Googling your symptoms may increase unnecessary anxiety.

Nearly every symptom you Google search will turn up an array of diagnoses ranging from insignificant to severe.  An unnecessary increase in anxiety results as people begin to fear the worst.  This “cyberchondria” is a growing concern for the medical community.  Researching illness, disease, and symptoms without a professional medical evaluation can lead to improper diagnosis and care.

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#4  Relying on “one size fits all” treatment will not yield the best results.

You are unique.  The totality of your personal, genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors is uniquely your own.  A treatment plan that works for some may not be appropriate for you.  Thus, it is of vital importance that you are evaluated individually and that a treatment plan is developed specifically for you, rather than relying on Google searches for generalized recommendations.

At TruMove, we believe everyone deserves to live their best life without movement limitations holding them back.  Thus, it is our goal to optimize your movement health, propelling you toward your best self.  This starts with understanding and appreciating you as an individual including all factors that may be aggravating your condition and/or preventing you from reaching your goals.  We will develop a treatment plan that will best suit your individual needs.

#5  Waiting to seek professional treatment may prolong and even increase your pain.

Seeking professional medical advice and treatment early can give you the quick, educated answers you need, decreasing your symptoms faster and setting you on the best path to recovery.  Don’t rely on Google searches for your diagnosis.  TruMove physical therapists are movement experts.  We can assess movement limitations and address the dysfunctions that may be the source driving your symptoms, thereby relieving pain and preventing future injury.  Better yet, you have immediate access to us.  In the state of Kansas, through Direct Access you do not need a physician’s referral for physical therapy.  Still, we work closely and cooperatively with an outstanding team of physicians when we need to incorporate their services into your plan of care.

Don’t waste time searching and scrolling through generalized diagnoses on the internet.  Come in and see us.  We at TruMove believe so strongly in the power of proper movement and its long-term benefits that we offer FREE movement screens.  Just 15-minutes of your time can result in positive, healthy changes that last a lifetime. Sign up for your FREE movement screen today!

As always, if you have any questions about your symptoms, available treatments, or how to prevent future injury, please reach out to us or visit our clinic in Overland Park, KS.  We have been serving the Kansas City area for over a decade and continue to expand our outreach, always striving for Better Health Through Motion!

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