Pain. The thing that none of us wants to have or deal with. And yet, it is an unavoidable part of our human existence. To speak simply here, there are two kinds of pain. The kind that comes on with a sudden injury or event (think car accident or fall), and the kind that sneaks up on us and just starts to get our attention.
The kind I am talking about here, is that second type. The one that we try to ignore at first, unless it is too much to do so.
I would like us to think of our brains for a minute. They are taking in all types of information at all times. They are the hub for our body and are responsible for managing things if you will. Now if something is not going well with our musculoskeletal system, it may alert us to this by sending a pain signal to get our attention. With this message, people usually try to get on with life and ignore it. If it persists, most often we try to make it “go away” by taking a pain pill such as Tylenol or an anti-inflammatory like Motrin. If that doesn’t work, we go to Dr Google and find things like RICE… Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
That may all be fine for a couple of days, but for more than a week? 2 weeks? It may be time to stop trying to cover up the pain and figure out WHY we are in pain in the first place.
For moms of dancers, the time to act would be best if your dancer has had to sit out of class for more than 2-3 classes because of pain. For those of us trying to keep up with our exercise routines or just keep up with our kids or jobs and are having pain, we should not be trying to ignore our brain’s message to us for more than a couple weeks either.
Early pain is usually a low grade issue that can be dealt with simple measures and we can get on with our life. If the pain has gone on for a few months, the tissue injury is usually more significant and the intervention needed becomes more complicated or longer to resolve things.
This is where physical therapists who are musculoskeletal experts come in. We are concerned about your pain, but we are ALWAYS working to figure out the WHY. You see, we know that covering up pain does us no favors. Only getting at the cause can get us and our patients the results we all want. And that is to participate in our lives fully without being held back by pesky things like pain.
Though pain is unavoidable in our lives, as it is a normal way for our brain to communicate with us, having PROLONGED PAIN IS AVOIDABLE. What gets most of us into trouble, is not making that decision to act on it.
At Pinnacle, the types of pains I treat are many. Back pain, pelvic pain, knee and ankle pain, foot pain, pelvis and sacral pain, abdominal pain. The types of people are also many, including pregnant women, postpartum women (3 weeks to 15 years!!), premenopausal women, post menopausal women, dancers, runners, and on and on. The thing that ties all of these issues and individuals together, is that they have a body that is out of balance. It is my job to help them regain that balance and thereby resolve the pain. What makes my practice unique? I actually have the TIME and EXPERTISE to sort this out with hour long appointments and the ability to utilize both my orthopedic and pelvic health specialties. If someone does go somewhere else, they may find they spend months at a traditional therapy clinic before issues resolve or they give up.
So the next time you or your dancer athlete are experiencing pain that has not gone away for more than 2 weeks, you may want to re-think HOW you respond to that pain message. Covering up pain will NEVER truly resolve it.
Contact me if you have a question you need to sort out or troubleshoot a pain. This is what I do!