Working Out with Pain: Real World Experience
Earlier this month I touched on working out in the presence of pain and how Elevate overcomes those situations with different phases of care. That is one of our top priorities—to get you moving and feeling great while doing it.
Someone in our Elevate community once dealt with a serious low-back injury. They’d had a goal of getting very strong and were really trying to push their body to the limit. Then, one day they tried to lift an awkward object from the ground using a really poor squat position. Click! They felt a small shift in their back and had instant pain. Over the next 20 minutes, their back became very tight and so painful that they couldn’t stand up straight. A few days of rest calmed their back muscles and some chiropractic treatment decreased the pain. Soon they resumed daily activities.
Not long after, they decided to go on a hike. The route involved a slight incline, forcing this person to bend forward just enough to irritate their back. After 20 minutes their foot went numb and their low back was stiff and achy. These two things are no coincidence. Bending forward really irritated their low-back nerves, causing the foot symptoms.
After diagnosis, proper adjustments were made to improve their movement. Sustained forward bending and awkward squatting positions were off limits. This by no means meant they could not work out. They were given tons of options on how to train and move toward their goal. Squatting, however, did not make their exercise list. Training continued and did not provoke the pain or cause any more numbness. The good stress that comes along with exercise continued to heal the injury, and they SLOWLY worked their way back into being able to squat again, really working on form and being aware of their limits.
And now I’ll share with you that this person was me. I struggled with a significant lumbar disc injury that was very painful and debilitating. I couldn't walk properly or do the things I loved to do. I needed to be educated on what I could and couldn’t do and how to manage my pain, all while letting my body heal. A good plan was put in place, and it was properly executed to get me back to training.
So, when I have a patient who is struggling with pain, I can honestly say, “I know what you are feeling.” It can be so frustrating at points but know that stringing together small wins such as working out pain-free, having a day full of activity with no back irritation, or understanding which movements are off limits will get you to a point where you can overcome injury. Don’t look for the quick fixes—understand your body and know how to optimize it.
If you are struggling with pain, there is hope. Please come see me and, together, we’ll work out your plan for healing.
P.S. Don't forget to reserve your space for our DIY Workout Workshop on June 9th. Call today 702.558.2151 or CLICK HERE for more information