Everyone can testify how recovery from an injury or surgery could be stressful, exhausting and nothing but instantly invigorating. Recovery entails you to be prepared – this means mentally, emotionally and of course, physically ready because it will surely require huge amount of dedication and effort.
One of the ultimate things Advanced Physical Therapy does at the beginning of a physical therapy treatment is to primarily categorize what kind of pain you are experiencing. There is what we call good pains and there are those classified under bad pains. Distinguishing the difference between the two is critical in maintaining a hale and hearty way of life especially in people performing rigorous set of exercises. Do not worry if you are not yet capable of identifying which pain is bad or good for even professional athletes (yes, those who train regularly and get paid!) in all kinds of sports are still having a hard time. We still need feedback on your pain or discomfort for us to decipher whether the pain could lead to serious harm.
Pain is a protective mechanism and most people are not aware of that. When we encounter pain, it does not automatically say we have to totally stop moving it or stop playing a sport. If you have performed some strength training, you will know that the intense discomfort you feel when you complete the last few reps gives you the maximum burn. These common muscle fatigue and failure are part of an exercise regimen and are totally expected. This indicates progress.
The symptoms of those who are healing from an injury or surgery, you can easily pinpoint that the contributions of the body's master system (the nervous system) is deeply integrated in sophisticated process of reconstructing quality tissue and for it to be able to go back to non-inflammatory condition. But the approach is through advanced therapy services to strengthen and heal.
Apart from knowing when to stop utilizing a particular part of the body to give it some rest and time to adapt or heal and to prevent further complications, knowing the good pain from the bad pain contributes to the short term and long term aftermaths. We have seen many who may experience injuries getting worse because of overlooked signs and symptoms. On top of that, we have also heard about instances in which patients suffer from prolonged recovery time.
Let us go back to the normal pains you can expect again – like how when exercising; you should expect a burning sensation due to release of lactic acid after fatigue towards the end of a very fast and intense phase. This temporary pain again represents the good effect of the activity. The more we can handle a pain, the higher our endurance and strength develops. The cliché “No pain, no gain” on the other hand should not be taken literally at all times as we've already learned that the pain can sometimes serve as a warning sign that something harmful is about to happen.
Another cliché says “Prevention is better than cure” however, we already know that injuries and accidents can also happen regardless of all the precautions we've made. We are just so blessed to have a body that helps us survive in the first place. By this I mean all the physiological activities related to healing such as inflammation reduction, metabolizing biochemical released during the inflammatory process and reconstructing tissues that have been damaged.
Detecting the problem
We were able to recognize the fact that there are two kinds of pain: the good one which we can expect, tolerate and help us improve; and the kind of pain that signals “rest for recovery”.
This time, let us learn how to identify the second one to avoid further complications. This could be warning signs of injury.
- 1. The pain is not temporary, meaning pain does not diminish after rest, it increases during exercise or workout sessions.
- 2. The pain is present within days. This is different from the typical soreness we feel after a good training. This is clearly not that feel-good pain that makes us proud. You must be reminded that a typical muscle soreness goes back to normal within 1 to 2 days.
- 3. The pain is localized unlike the normal muscle soreness which is typically generalized.
We have heard about the golden treatment: REST. This has been the ultimate cure for normally overworked muscles without impediments. But this would only be suitable for the good pains.
Injuries or the bad pains present after a week should be reported so a thorough assessment can be done. Early detection can lead to very good prognosis. This is how we will confirm if the pain is secondary to an injury or not. Physical therapy care can make the healing time faster. With the optimal functioning of our nervous system being their priority, physical rehabilitation services can facilitate recovery care. Henceforth, you can return to your maximum wellness, performing activities you love and playing the sports you are passionate about in no time!