Updated: Oct 9
We are driven by our pain. Pain stops us from doing the things we want and need to do. Pain is a warning sign that something is wrong. A lot of the time we ignore our pain and push through it to accomplish what we need to do. The problem with this is that when we ignore our "warning sign" or mask our pain with medications, modalities, etc, the pain gets worse, the problem gets worse and we develop compensations which turn into long term problems.
Don't just mask the pain. We want you to FIX THE PROBLEM.
How do I do that you ask?
You start with figuring out what the problem is.
Sometimes we know what the problem is but we don't want to take the time to work on it. For example, you know it hurts to squat deep but you keep squatting hoping that it will just get better. Most of the time it doesn't. Most of the time continuing painful squatting makes squatting more painful and turns into painful walking :/ .
If you don't know what the problem is or how to help it INVEST in some help!
The reality is- if you knew what to do you would not have ongoing pain.
You need someone to help you identify:
(1) what is causing the problem and
(2) how to fix it.
Sometimes there is just something really simple you need to stop doing that will let the pain calm down. For example, it hurts to overhead press a 40# DB. You don't have to necessarily stop overhead pressing. Maybe pressing 10# overhead feels good. You might have to decrease your load for a bit to let the pain in the shoulder calm down and then slowly increase your load back as it feels good.
Sometimes there is something you are not doing that you need to be doing that will get rid of your pain and fix the problem. An example of this is anterior knee pain. Maybe you are doing a ton of closed chain work to strengthen your quads like squats, lunges, carries and you are missing the open chain work like knee extension and hamstring curls. The open chain work helps lubricate the joint and move it through it's normal range of motion.
And sometimes you just need some work. If you have been ignoring your deficits and masking your pain for a long time you might need some consistent mobility, strength and stability work. This means commitment to physical therapy sessions weekly until some of these deficits can be improved.
It can be super simple and it can be super complicated :/ .
Masking pain turns into compensations and long term problems. It makes a meniscus tear turn into Osteoarthritis. It turns a shoulder sprain into a Rotator Cuff Tear. It turns a lumbar strain into a herniated disc. Fixing a small problem prevents it from turning into a big one. We have seen this time and time again. When you get help right away you will have better long term outcomes.
In addition- there are likely tons of things that you are missing in your training and workouts that you will learn when you work with a specialist. Working with a PT will not only help you find the problem but it will make you a better athlete, improve your sports performance and prevent future injuries. FIXING THE PROBLEM IS EVERYTHING. What are you waiting for? We got you.
Yours in strength,
Dr. Brown, Dr. P, Dr. Bay, & Kristin