Pain is information
Alrighty folks, hopefully this gets a few of you thinking.
Pain is actually something we are incredibly passionate about and has the potential to end up deep down a rabbit hole, but we’ll try to keep it light and sexy as possible.
To begin with a punch, contrary to the attempt to keep things light and sexy, there is a significant systematic issue on a global scale when it comes to individual and institutional attitude to physical health and wellness. Particularly the topic of how to manage pain and injury.
To get things rolling, think back to when you were a young child and particularly about the way you learned some of the simple lessons in life about pain and injury.
“The stove is hot , don't touch the stove” and all it takes is one simple experience of less than a second touching the stove to hammer home the message very effectively.
“Be careful down the stairs” sure enough, the day you fall down the stairs, that message is again hammered home very quickly.
These ensuing painful experiences generate pretty effective behaviour changes with a simple outcome in mind – avoid pain. At no point do we sit and blame our body for the painful experience, we blame the behaviour.
The take home here is that pain gives our brain a rush of information that a certain action can lead to a serious issue. Pain is a valuable lesson from life that says, if you behave in a certain way, you’ll hurt yourself.
Now think of yourself today and the pain you may experience. Particularly chronic pain, the pain that slowly creeps up on you like a headache or a sore back. Now think of how you deal with it.
You’re probably more than willing to pop a pain killer without even thinking “why am I in pain in the first place”. You might even go and see specialists for treatment which often leads to diagnosis, and then a prescription of some sort of pain easing (blocking) medication.
And the only answer you have for “why?” is… “I have a bad back”.
At what point did it become ok to just accept that something that hurts you is a normal part of life?
Have you ever considered that the pain you now feel as an adult may be related to behaviour?
And this is where the systematic issue come’s in. Diagnosis does not resolve pain or injury. Painkillers or anti-inflams only resolve pain symptoms and not causes of injury.
Now we say this with respect to medical and health professionals of the world, as the current approach is a subject of scientific research justifying “some relief” is better than no relief.
The issue we have is that a significant amount of scientifically backed inroads have been made justifying the effect of quality exercise programs on pain prevention, management and reduction. Yet still, a large portion of the population suffering pain, are not aware or are even encouraged to enrol in such programs.
Again, we sympathise with medical professionals who might be hesitant at referring patients to an industry riddled with pseudoscience and renowned for a low barrier to entry.
But the fact there is a significant amount of high quality pain related exercise intervention programs available, particularly across Australia. We’re not talking about a HIIT class at the gym down the road. We’re talking about educated professionals who have studied their craft for 5, 10, 15+ years and are passionate about generating holistic healthy change in people that are suffering.
For the everyday person, we encourage you to consider your daily behaviours before jumping on the painkiller and diagnosis train. When was the last time you considered the muscles in your hips? Do you know if you can actually recruit your abdominals correctly? Have you thought about the way you breathe recently?
All seem like such simple things, but the lack of awareness in such simple patterns is what leads people down the long and miserable road of pain.
So instead of trying to block pain, instead of accepting it as a part of “who you are”, do something about your daily behaviour. Go and find a professional and learn something about your body. After all it is the only one you got.
Get pain free and enjoy life.