All Aboard The Pain Train
If you’re anything like me, growing up in the ’70s and ’80s was accompanied by the action hero.
Be it Stallone, Schwarzenegger or Seagal, cinemas and movie theatres the world over reverberated with the action of their exploits.
More often than not, their respective characters plot development would revolve around a montage or scenes involving pain!
You can just see it, Rocky prepping to take down Ivan Drago by smashing himself through an excruciatingly painful abs workout, or Rambo performing some crazy form of battlefield medicine.
Directors know we develop a greater bond with the protagonist when we see them suffer through pain the day.
Unfortunately, this often means we develop a similar mindset when we train.
No Pain No Gain
In 1982, Jane Fonda of all people, popularised the phrase No Pain, No Gain.
This mindset pointed towards the effectiveness of your workout being directly attributable to the pain and suffering you’d endure as a result.
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) was seen almost as a badge of honour.
That the pain train was the only way to get to your destination.
Off the Tracks
It’s a long-held belief that when we are injured, or suffering pain or discomfort, that we should rest, take painkillers, ice the offending area, and convalesce until all signs of any such suffering have disappeared.
The acronyms ICE, RICE, POLICE were used as a simple way to treat injuries and recuperate.
Often this sees us use injury or discomfort as an excuse to stop doing the things we enjoy, secretly embracing our desire to transform, sloth-like, into a couch potato for a few weeks.
Peace and Love
Thankfully, it’s great to see the tide may be changing, with the medical community increasingly prescribing exercise as a tool to aid pain sufferers, rather than the traditional method of pain meds and inactivity (see here).
This 2015 study of firefighters, found it “is essential for people with chronic low back pain to strengthen the lower back muscles and to increase in lumbar flexibility”.
That’s right, not to sit on the couch, not to solely take pain meds but to engage in strengthening exercises to improve abdominal strength and reduce the prevalence of injury.
We are designed to move, to be active and to benefit from the body’s reaction to both.
Increasingly sedentary lifestyles, poor posture and reluctance to move after injury all help to make us more susceptible to aches and pain.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Exercise, when sensibly programmed and coached, can have a remarkable effect on pain, can elevate mood and confidence levels, allowing you freedom from the prison that pain can become.
You don’t need to be trapped by pain, nor do you have to give up your goals at the first sign of discomfort.
To see what approach we would prescribe for you, click here to schedule a complimentary consultation today