• Physio Physique

Is Your Pain A Good Thing?

Should your pain be causing you panic?

Pain can be a great thing! I know, it sounds crazy but pain is just a signal produced by your brain that is meant to motivate us to protect our body. When you feel pain, the brain has concluded that you are threatened or endangered and in need of protection.

So, should your pain be causing you panic? We have simplified why most common pain concerns should not cause panic and the best method for recovery.

Is your pain persisting?

  • Conduct a self analysis

  • Have you given the tissue an appropriate time frame to heal?

  • Tissue can take anywhere between 4-12 weeks to heal

  • Is there any reason that the damaged tissue hasn't healed? Maybe your diet has been poor recently or, you may have a pre-existing medical condition that could delay your recovery

Is your pain getting worse?

  • Your body's alarm system has increased the frequency of danger messages sent to the brain

  • This is a sensible thing for your brain to do, it wants to protect you

Does movement, big or small, hurt?

  • Your damaged tissue is inflamed and that is a great thing! Short term inflammation in the tissue promotes healing

  • Only downside is that inflammation causes your danger sensors in your tissue to become sensitive, therefore reducing the amount of movement you can do without pain

Painful one day but not the next?

  • There may be a latent period

  • A latent period is the elapsed time between exposure to a stimulus and a reaction

  • Tissue can have a latent delay from hours up to days

  • Latency usually does not occur with damaged tissues and is a feature of a healthy sensitized central alarm system

So now you know what your pain means, what should you do about it? It’s simple, move! Movement not only increases the health of joints, soft tissue, circulatory and respiratory systems. It is brain nourishing! It re-establishes fine functional sensory and motor representations in the brain. Essentially, movement tells your brain that it can relax.

But how are you supposed to move when you are in pain?

  • Good question, and the answer is simply, find your baseline.

  • You know your body better than anyone else, so use that to your advantage

  • Ask yourself, how long can you use that problematic tissue without having a flare-up of pain?

  • Your answer is your baseline. Once you know your baseline, you know your body’s boundary.

  • As you continue to use your tissue, the baseline will continue to increase. Until you're able to move that tissue pain-free.

If this sounds like you and you would like some assistance on the road to recovery, have a chat with one of our physiotherapists!