Pain VS Hurt
Dr. Joel N.M Kerr, @InfoTHI
The old saying “no pain, no gain” has been taken too literal nowadays.
With enormous pressure on an athlete’s performance, coupled with faulty training protocols that neglect adequate assessments, more and more young bodies are succumbing to preventable injuries.
Courtesy: Runners Connect
Regardless if you are an athlete or not, the ability to listen to your body is probably the single best tool you can posses. However, one must first understand what the body is trying to say.
In order for the body to adapt, such as getting bigger, stronger and faster, it needs to be stressed, via training.
Pain, or the perception of, is a natural consequence of taxing your body. There is “good pain” and “bad pain.”
The “good pain” is you reaching the necessary threshold needed to facilitate adaptation and growth in your body. Many describe this feeling as a “burn.” This form of pain should only be felt while you are engaged in the activity, and stop shortly after.
The “bad pain” is you going so far passed the aforementioned threshold that your body is being harmed. A cascade effect begins to happen at this point. Form is compromised, soft tissue is compromised, and physiological defense mechanism engage, such as muscle spasms.
“Bad pain” can also occur more abruptly and traumatically. It is always necessary to be concerned if onset of pain is sudden, sharp and debilitating. This includes tears, strains, and dislocations.
A clear indication of when to stop activity is if pain is felt locally. A warning sign of your entire arm being sore and in minor pain is normal, but when you only feel pain in a localized area, such as your elbow, then it may cause for concern. If you are working both legs for example, and the pain or soreness is on one side, it could spell injury.
When one does not put a stop to “bad pain” as soon as it is recognized, it will eventually lead to hurt. Being “hurt” in this context means structures do not only need time to heal, but need secondary interventions, like medical attention and/or therapy.
Being hurt means you are injured to the point where you cannot function. The severity of being hurt varies widely, ranging from a couple of days of rest to surgeries to possible forceful retirement.
Our responsibility is to provide you with the necessary tools and knowledge to safely conduct yourselves when not being supervised. There will be times over the course of any career in which you will be forced to tend to yourself. Below explains what you can do to control any unforeseen injuries that may arise.
Rest, keep injury site as still as possible to prevent further injury. Use sling or brace when necessary. The goal is relax and prevent blood flow and inflammation to site of injury.
Ice, is the most important tool for acute injuries. It will help to reduce pain, swelling, bleeding and inflammation. Apply as soon as possible, and never directly onto bare skin. Apply for 20 minutes every 2-3 hours for the first 24-48 hours for best effectiveness.
Compression, helps to manage bleeding, swelling and provides added support and stability. Compression can be tricky, tightness needs to be comfortable, if you get numb then it is too tight and restricting blood flow.
Elevation, keep injury above heart level. This helps redirect blood flow, helps reduce swelling, bleeding and pain.
Heat, will increase blood circulation, promote bleeding, swelling and inflammation. Be cautious when taking baths, showers, or stepping into any high temperature environment like a sauna following an injury.
Alcohol, promotes bleeding and swelling. Most importantly, it can mask perception of pain, which can potentially lead to more damage to the injury.
Running, and other exercise can promote blood flow, and without clearance from your health professional, can potentially cause further injury.
Massage, direct pressure and manual manipulation of an injured area can increase blood circulation, and harm tissue. Direct massage however can be beneficial after 48hours to an injury.
Many people are surprised to hear that diet also plays a major role in the recovery process. Here are some guidelines to help speed up your recovery.
Stay Away From Foods That Promote Inflammation
- Fatty meats, fatty cheeses, high sugar food items such as baked goods, ice cream, high starch based foods such as white flour, white bread and potatoes.
On the other hand, these are foods that will support healing.
- Calcium and magnesium rich foods assists in reducing muscle cramps. These include sesame seeds, yogurt, low fat milk.
- Vitamin C-rich foods contain tissue and cell healing properties. These include citrus fruits, berries, peppers, broccoli
- Many foods contain anti-inflammatory properties that assist in reducing pain from inflammation. These include cherries, raspberries, celery, mild curry and cayenne spice, fatty fish such as salmon
- Lastly, protein rich foods directly assists in rebuilding muscle and damaged soft tissue. These include fish, lean meats like turkey and chicken breast, pumpkin seeds, soy beans and legumes