You fall down a flight of stairs and hurt your arm. You find out you broke your arm and it will take 6 to 12 weeks for the bone to heal. In the initial first 6 weeks your arm is in constant pain. It is the only thing your mind is focused on. Once week 7 rolls around you notice your arm isn’t in as much pain. This is an indication that the injury is slowly getting back to normal! While it is great news, it does not mean the bone is completely healed. Similar concept applies to all injuries, once the pain signal stops sending, doesn’t mean the issue is completely resolved.
Why it Matters:
Pain is the way of the body telling the brain that something is wrong. Whether that be a movement that just happen or a sudden incident. Pain is meant to protect us from doing more harm to our body. When experiencing some form of external pain, our body sends a signal to the brain and the brain’s knee jerk reaction is to tell the body move away. As quickly as pain can happen it can quickly disappear, but this does not mean the damage is done or gone. Same with managing injuries that we sustain living our daily lives. Injuries can be from doing nothing or doing too much, sitting at a desk or climbing a trail can cause similar injuries.
When the pain subsides it just means the brain is no longer prioritizing that injury. The injury hasn’t gone away but the injury is no longer a priority for the brain. While this is helpful for the body, it can be deceiving for the person. People think that no pain means no injury. This gives people the false idea that they can go back to their regularly scheduled activities with no worries. And this is when people ended up making their injury worse and requiring more intense care.
The best way to avoid serious injury is to continue your care. Continuing your care until your doctor gives you the ok is the best scenario to follow. Especially when it comes to chiropractic care. People come into offices complaining of pain, then get adjusted, taught stability exercises, and then walk out feeling better. But this is where people think they can just stop doing all of that, because out of sight, out of mind. The best thing to do with pain is to continue your exercises, even if that means one set a day. It’s not about the frequency of the exercise, it’s about the consistency. The more consistent you are with your care and exercises the better you will feel long term.