Pain + Injury: Where Most People Get Stuck (and how to get out)
Most people, especially when dealing with more chronic issues, tend to fall into one of two categories:
A: People who constantly overdo it (you probably know who you are!) B: People who err too close on the side of caution
Slide A: The ‘all-or-nothing’ folks. They tend to push far into pain, or, because they are so used to working at higher intensities, they struggle to limit themselves or allow for adequate recovery time. They over-do it, have a bad flare-up, and find themselves back at square one (or worse) afterward.
Slide B: This is the ‘rest until it feels better’ group. People here usually require a little bit more encouragement to get going. Maybe they aren’t used to being injured, or they have been told by others that they need to avoid anything challenging out of fear of making things worse. Tissues require stress to heal and adapt, and if we aren’t pushing things within reason, our tissues won’t adapt and get stronger. Worse yet, if we hold back too much, things can get worse over time.
Slide C: The sweet spot. This is where you challenge things a little bit (some pain is okay!), but not too far, and allow enough time for things to recover before pushing it some more. The tricky part is that ‘how much’ is going to be a little different for everyone, depending upon the severity of their injury, their previous medical history, their age, and other health and lifestyle factors such as diet, stress, sleep, and psychology come into play. This is where a physiotherapist can help!
It always helps to stay in tune with your body and how it's feeling. Stop, take a breath, and check-in with yourself with questions like, ‘Compared to my last time, am I over-doing it?’ or ‘It hurts a little, but based on what my physio told me, I should be okay to continue.’ It can take a little trial and error, especially at the beginning, but what’s important is that you keep going.
Feeling stuck yourself? Get in touch at email@example.com and come to see me at my Calgary clinic - together we will navigate a path for you back to doing what you love and worrying less about what hurts!
Disclaimer: This post is intended for educational purposed only and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice.