We have all heard the saying “no pain no gain” but there are so many exceptions to that rule. Yes. Some activities can cause us minor discomfort as we push our bodies to its’ fullest potential and that is normal. However, it is super important that you are listening when your body talks to you. There is a big difference between “I’m tired and you’re working me to hard” and “I’m injured or unhealthy.”
When it comes to pain, there are two questions you should ask yourself.
Is it an injury and do you remember how it happened?
Is it a non-injury pain which may indicate something is going on within your body?
Once you have determined the answer, you can begin a series of follow-up assessment thoughts. For example:
You hit your elbow on the table and cause that odd “funny bone” sensation. Your brain registers pain but obviously you aren’t going to run to the emergency room. Through experience you know that the pain is temporary and not life-threatening.
You’re at the gym using the row machine. You get a sudden sharp pain in your hand and experience the sensation of a “pop” near your ring finger. In this situation, you most likely do not have experience to base the extent of the injury which means you will need to take it more seriously than hitting your funny bone.
You go out to dinner with friends and over indulge with appetizers, a meal, dessert, and multiple cocktails. A few hours after you return home you begin to experience stomach cramps that often come from too much of a good thing. Through experience you know that the situation is temporary and not life-threatening.
You are at the movies with your husband and out of the blue you experience an intense stomach cramp. You try to ignore it, chalking it up to gas, but the pain becomes more intense to the point of being unbearable. You may not know what it is but you are very certain something isn’t right.
When pain is present (and seems out of the norm for you), it’s important not to try to battle through it or brush it off as something that will go away on its’ own. Not all pain is what it seems. Maybe you have a job where you are on your feet all day long which often results in tired legs and feet. Listening to your body is so important in order to determine if those aches and pains are a normal result of your hard day’s work or if they are indicative of something more serious. There is a big difference between achy feet and plantar fasciitis.
It seems like we are all going, going, going 24 hours a day. We need to slow down, breathe, and be self-aware. Combining a healthy and active lifestyle, listening to your body, recognizing when professional care is needed, and participating in regular prophylactic care such as chiropractic, acupressure, acupuncture, and massage will help your body stay pain-free. When aches and pains are reduced, we feel better, are more active, sleep better, eat better, and are a happier person overall. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?