Sport Injuries: Consequences of Pushing Through the Pain

An article from the New York Times titled, “Sport Injures: When to Tough It Out“, recently caught my attention.  The main point of the article was to answer the question of whether you should go to the doctor or tough it out?  A quote from one of the doctors in the article is below:

“I think most folks should not go (to the doctors), because most general doctors don’t know a lot about running injuries,” he said, adding, “Most docs, often even the good sports docs, then will just tell you to stop running anyway, so the first thing is to stop running yourself.”

This quote brings about two very important points.

1. Your primary care physician, emergency room physician, and urgent care physician do not have a reason to know a lot about overuse injuries.  Most of the time they will prescribe rest, anti-inflammatories, ice and/or muscle relaxors. This will cover up the pain so you feel better but it will not fix the problem and most likely you will experience similar symptoms down the road.

2.  I do not like the advice to stop running or stop doing whatever activity aggravates your condition.  This may be good advice at first because it will allow your body to recover and reduce the pain but it didn’t fix the problem.  There is a reason why you have shin, hip or knee pain with running.  I recommend that you try to figure out why you are experiencing the pain.

I believe if you are experiencing any joint pain with activity then your first step should be a chiropractor that specializes in soft tissue treatment.  In my office,  screening procedures and motion assessments are used to diagnose the source of the pain.

It is impossible to write an article that would cover every scenario of when to see a doctor and when to tough it out. It is a good idea to have any pain checked out but below are some general guidelines of when to go see a chiropractor:

  • Shin pain-if you push through it, it can progress to stress fractures
  • Elbow pain (tennis or golfers elbow)-left untreated it can progress to tendinosis which is degeneration of the tendon.
  • Achilles tendon pain-can lead to degeneration of the tendon and possibly rupture.
  • Heel pain/ plantar fasciitis-pushing through this will lead to further degeneration of the tissue causing pain even with sitting.
  • IT band tendonitis-will cause chronic knee pain but the problem is usually at the hip.
  • Pain in the same area with activity that gets better with rest but returns once you start the activity again.

If you get a random ache in a joint that only last a few minutes, then this is most likely not a reason to go see a doctor.  Aches that increase in duration and frequency should be checked out.

If you are experiencing pain, then feel free to email a general outline of your symptoms to me.  Then I can help you determine what your next step should be.

The Gift of Pain

Why is pain a gift?

Pain is the bodies warning system that something is wrong.  If we didn’t have pain, we would slowly destroy our bodies and not even know it.

Unfortunately, we are trained to cover up pain.  Americans consume billions of dollars of pain medicine every year.  Pain medicine allows us to function when we shouldn’t.  It seems like the answer to shoulder, knee, back, elbow, neck, and foot pain is ibuprofen or some other type of pain medicine.  This may help in the short term but it sets you up for disaster down the road.  Many times pain medicine will allow you to irritated the bad tissue until it tears.  This may be why we see such a large number of rotator cuff tears and disc herniations.

Rest, ice, or pain medicine is not the answer to reducing your pain.  Muscle adhesion is the most common source of pain and stiffness and the most underdiagnosed. To determine the cause of your pain, click the button below to schedule an appointment.

No pain, no gain…..right?

Have you ever heard the saying, no pain, no gain?  This saying can be a good thing or a really bad thing.  For example, if a triathlete starts swimming after a long break, it is probably going to be a painful experience.  It’s hard to get oxygen, your arms are sore, and you are trying your hardest not to let your legs become a 60 pound anchor.  At first you have to push through the pain, and eventually it becomes easier. Pain in this case is a part of becoming better, stronger, and faster.  If that same triathlete has shoulder pain on his right side during the recovery portion of his stroke, then that’s a different story.  This is bad pain and indicates that the joint is not working correctly.  This pain would most likely be caused from adhesion in the rotator cuff muscles.  This will cause the joint to move incorrectly and create pain in the shoulder and down the arm.  Bad pain is your body’s way of saying STOP.  If you try to work though the pain and take anti-inflammatory medicine, it will only get worse.  The medicine will allow you to continue to move the joint wrong until something tears.  I like the saying, “No GOOD pain, no gain”.   If you are unsure if your pain is good or bad, please schedule an exam to find out.