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Give yourself a break, you may be stuck in a pain cycle.

Updated: Dec 14, 2022

Chronic, daily pain is an unfortunate a fact of life for many people. Managing pain pays attention to various factors.

First, let's take a look at the pain cycle.

What caused the pain in the first place and what you are doing to treat it will impact the outcome. Just as pain can be caused by many sources, it is often relieved by many types of treatment. For instance, massage can feel great, at least it should, but if you don't take advantage of that great feeling and add stretching and increase movement then it only lasts a short while. Conversely, if you try to force movement in spite of pain you can cause an injury.

It's fortunate that the no pain, no gain mindset is long gone. There is a big difference in "stop, that hurts" pain and "hurts so good" pain. One is a warning sign to back off and the other is your body thanking you for taking care of it. Remember RICE? RICE stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. Rest does not usually mean complete cessation of physical activity. It should be a time of less intense activity and complete awareness of how your movement and activity level affect your pain.

Outside of hyperalgesia (abnormal sensitivity to pain), if you are damned if you do and damned if you don't when it comes to movement, you are better off moving.

That said, you always need to rule out any serious injuries and illnesses when beginning a new routine. Pain is a complex beast that can most often be treated. Remember to do your part in the process!

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