A common strategy for stressful or painful situations is avoidance. Seeking out anything else in the world that needs attention to avoid the actual problem that needs to be faced. This strategy works only for a short while effectively, and even then, you may be fooling yourself. After a time, what happens is all of these problems build up and start meshing with each other. When they become too much for you to handle, all of a sudden, there is a massive storm of catastrophe that stirs up around you.
This is no different from pain. Pain is very good for you. That statement is hard to accept, but physical pain is a protective mechanism that prevents further injury to the body. Pain also allows you time to heal because you do not want to use the injured part due to the problem. As the body heals, the pain signals decrease, allowing you more freedom to start using the injured part safely. If you start pushing it too quickly, your body will remind you that it is still healing by producing pain.
What if you just push through the pain? There are many reasons that we move through pain. The most common cause is that we have a coach telling us that it is ok to have pain. The pain will make us stronger. In many ways, if you look at that principle, there is a lot of truth to it. Pushing your body to its limits will allow the most significant potential of growth and development. Another reason that people drive through pain is the necessity of a job. Sometimes, we feel that there is no option, either you work or lose your job. People then tend to ignore the pain and push through. They finish the day with a cocktail of icepacks, medications, ointments, etc. Anything to get them by till the next day.
The problem I see is we are confusing the brain of what is good and bad with pain. When we ignore the warnings for years, we can no longer tell when it is a real problem. Chronic pain all comes with its own unique story, it’s own history, and it’s own manifestation. The care and treatment are variable according to the patient, but what is expected is the need to face the core cause of the problem. Sometimes the core problem can be stemming from childhood conditioning; other times, it is just that the body has broken down. As a manual therapist, it is your job to help the patient discover the core of the pain and allow the healing to start happening.
About the Author
Rajesh is a Physical Therapist and Life Coach who is passionate about health and wellness. He is interested in all aspects of general well being including fitness and mindfulness. He continues to learn and grow from his patients and the profession he loves.
If this article helps you or you would like to get more information, please do not hesitate to contact him at KhemrajPhysicalTherapy@gmail.com.