MYTH: No pain, no gain.
FACT: Often, I see athletes and patients who are pushed by coaches that use the motto, “No pain, no gain.” While we know people can sustain additional injuries by “pushing through injury,” knowing the right time to push through and when to rest is key to a fast recovery.
Pain causes you to move, think and behave differently. Recent studies show that knowing how to use your body and muscles when you’re in pain can significantly reduce injury time. Therefore, my motto of choice is, “Know pain and gain.”
As we age, our bodies often communicate to us via pain. Pain is the body’s protective mechanism that helps motivate us to protect the injured area from getting worse. Many people try to fight pain rather than take it as a sign to slow down and address the issue. Fighting pain only creates a series of compensating movements that puts you at risk of aggravating the injury and lengthening the time needed to heal. Because of this, it’s important to listen to what your body is telling you.
With an acute injury, pain is a good warning sign that can help prevent additional complications while allowing the healing process to begin sooner. If you have a mild sprain or strain, putting the old acronym RICE – rest, ice, compression and elevation – to use will usually relieve some of the natural inflammatory response and lessen the pain.
Tending to your body may keep you off your feet for a while, but you will save time in the long run as it can prevent your injuries from becoming chronic.