We include corrective exercise and pain management into our standard programming/classes. That being said, sometimes you might need a little more personal attention. We can be especially helpful in the following areas:
Hey guys! I want to have a small discussion about pain and how I approach dealing with pain in my patients as a Physical Therapist.
Pain is absolutely normal and contrary to what some people believe, unavoidable! For everyone. All my CrossFitters out there should be well versed in the frequency of suffering through their training. Yes, it is scary or frustrating when we unexpectedly end up in pain but I think I can share some insights that may help:
When we experience pain our brain takes the information that is coming in from the body and interprets it into thoughts we can act on. The human brain needs to determine whether it feels a threat or not so that your body can take action. Typically pain can lead to a physical response of stopping what causes the pain and starting to heal.
Here's an example to help: Let’s say you are walking across the street and you sprain your ankle, does it hurt? Yes. Okay, now let’s say you are crossing the street and you sprain your ankle. Just as this happens a car comes speeding your way and you have to choose grabbing your ankle or running to safety! In that moment when the car is speeding toward you, do you feel the pain in your ankle? No, your brain has to make a value judgement decision and interpret present dangers. Ankle sprain or getting hit by the car, in this case the car is the threat and the brain does a genius job of stopping any possible response to the ankle sprain. You feel no pain at all as you jump out of the way. So you do not feel the pain of the ankle in the moment because your brain stops interpreting signals from your ankle as pain.
This example was just a way to say: Your brain has more control over your pain than you might think. Even crazier, instead of pain being an unstoppable signal from our body, it’s an interpretation from our brain which can be subdued or even stopped altogether. Put concisely, pain is an output or a decision by the brain. We are all constantly and consciously using pain as a guide in taking actions that best suit us.
Now to put this into action! Our tissues will typically heal after painful or strenuous experiences; unless, we associate the experience with negative thoughts and emotions. Mental state in reference to pain, why we are in pain and our beliefs regarding getting out of pain impact our ability to heal rapidly. Furthermore, if our environment is negative or stress level is perpetually high our brain will begin to sensitize some of life’s low level threats just as it would high level threats which then amplifies our pain response to just about anything.
So, this is why our approach to pain is very important to our personal goals in the gym and in life.
If you have repeatedly poor experiences with pain and/or have prolonged high stress, get no sleep, do not exercise or move, then your ability to recover will, in fact, take longer. The more over-sensitized your system becomes and the more easily your system will be overwhelmed by the stresses of live and even worse, unable to recover from serious damage.
It is critical that we all work to better understand pain and what’s going on in between your body and brain and have better responses to these everyday experiences that normal people go through on a day to day basis and can overcome with exercise and pain education.
So here is the plan:
In general I want to empower you to look at pain differently and begin to take initiative with the help of the gym staff, in order to get moving better and make positive change toward improvement.
Dedication - Commitment - Consistency - Resiliency - Fortitude