Visit our new website!

17 Fri

Beyond Google and Wikipedia, searching online for health information

Beyond Google and Wikipedia, searching online for health information

Written By: Paul Kochoa, PT, DPT, OCS, CGFI

So you have a health issue.  Your back hurts, or your knee starts hurting after your last run.  You want to know what it might be.  Or you were responsible and went to your primary care physician and got a diagnosis but with all the medical mumbo-jumbo the doctor may have given you, the visit might have left you with more questions than answers.  Or maybe you’re the regular, internet-using type of person, and you figure you’d go do a Google search and see what comes up.  It’s easy to pull up a web page on Google or even Wikipedia about something that ails you.  But have you thought about where the information is coming from?

If you’re a real savvy internet user, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet.  You have to understand the source.  You want a trustworthy and reliable source, especially when you’re looking for information regarding your health.

Wikipedia is like an online encyclopedia.  It seems like everything is on there, ready to be referenced.  However, did you know that anyone can edit?  Really, anyone from a doctor with multiple degrees to a repairman who never opened a medical textbook can edit information on Wikipedia.  Even a pharmaceutical sales rep can edit a page and put his products in a better light in relation to any health problem.  Sure, there is some oversight and monitoring of the website, but some bad information does get through.

Google ranks its results based on popularity.  The more a web site is visited, the higher it ranks and the more likely you are to click on that link.  Some companies can even pay to increase their rank on Google.  So the first ten results might just be from companies or research facilities that have paid to have their results more accessible to everyday people looking for answers to their health questions.

If you would like more information, please call Professional Physical Therapy and Training at 973-270-7417.  Our offices our located within the YMCA locations in Madison and Summit, NJ.  You do not need to be a member of the YMCA to visit with us.

Image courtesy of phanlop88 /

Comments are closed.

Call Now