It’s a long held belief that when we are injured, or suffering pain or discomfort, that we should rest, take painkillers and convalesce until all signs of any such suffering have disappeared.
Often we see 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.
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 strength the low back muscles and to increase in lumbar flexibility”. That’s right, not sit on the couch, not 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 pains. 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 a freedom from the prison that pain can become.
Take the guy in the picture. Ollie came to us as an experienced athlete, but one suffering from back pain.
Following a little assessment and some coaching on technique, Ollie found his back no longer hurt, and that he could move through a greater range with no discomfort.
You don’t need to be trapped by pain.