Why do we have to feel pain?!?!
A large portion of my life I never truly understood the reason for pain. There is always that question, why do bad things happen to good people? Or, why do bad things happen throughout the world? With pain comes a lesson. A few years ago I began reading a book written by Tony Dungy (I read a few of his but I believe the book is titled Quiet Strength). In it, he tells the story of his youngest son Jordan. Jordan was born with a congenital condition that does not allow him to feel pain. It sounds like it would be a good thing but it is not. Young Jordan had a love for cookies. He ate cookies off the counter. He ate cookies off of a dinner plate. He ate cookies off of the cookie tray, that is still in the oven, which is on at 400 degrees. Because he could not feel the pain of burning his mouth, he struggled to learn that important lesson. Pain lets us know that something is going on that needs to be healed. In order to learn things about ourselves, we need to experience pain. And we need to experience healing.
Pain in the body is an incredible teaching tool. I remember being younger and being told, "well if something hurts, don't do it". I have later learned that you just can't totally avoid the issue and hope for the best. For example, when performing a squat, you experience pain on the inside of your knee. You can avoid that feeling by not squatting and totally neglect some of the largest muscle groups in your body. OR, you can make an effort to what is causing the pain and make an effort to resolve that issue. Our goal as an athlete (and we are all "athletes" in one way or another) is to be able to move without restriction or limitation. When we experience pain in the body, our body's sense of awareness, a.k.a proprioception, is distorted. When pain distorts proprioception, our movement patterns are greatly effected. We begin moving in a way that will prevent the feeling of pain. This is putting a band-aid over a wound that needs stitches. It may help in the short-term but in the long run, you are going to need to resolve the issue by getting to the root of the problem. So if you are experiencing pain in a region, and it wasn't caused by trauma or a fall, you have a weak link and that region of your body is a point of stress or strain. Outline it, identify it, and address it!
If you are feeling some discomfort or recently got cleared to participate in physical activity, stop by my office for a screening. I will be giving out free functional movement screenings assessments between today, January 23rd, and January 31st . It is time to become the best you. Schedule an appointment today!
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