A primary concern for athletes is pain. The entire industry of sports medicine is dedicated to handling pain and function problems in active adults.
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to read and share an article from a sports medicine provider that helps athletes understand the difference between good and bad pain.
Subsequently, I felt like the topic deserved a little more detailed treatment. So here we are. This is the first of three posts that will discuss pain and its different manifestations.
The foremost thing to understand about pain is that it’s a mechanism. It’s a tool for our bodies to notify us that something is wrong. Ignoring pain is a 100% bad idea. Unraveling what it is trying to tell us can help us make smart decisions about what needs to be done.
The first type of pain I want to talk about is acute pain. This typically lasts less than three to six months and/or is directly related to tissue damage. It is characterized as responsive. This means that pain responds to various methods of treatment. These injuries and pains by themselves have a defined physical cause and offer opportunities for successful care and recovery.
If you hit your thumb with a hammer, that pain is defined as acute (and any other colorful words that happen to be uttered at the time of injury). Furthermore, the pain is defined as susceptible to influence. This means that it can be impacted by emotional states, such as depression and anxiety. It can also be affected by lack of exercise (also known as deconditioning).
Physical therapy offers help with injuries that result in acute pain. We can help by managing your reconditioning needs, adjusting your movements and range of movement. This will help with recovery and assessing the healing process.
Stay tuned for our next blog article on chronic pain!