5 Reasons “No Pain” Doesn’t Always Mean Your Recovery Is Complete

5 Reasons “No Pain” Doesn’t Always Mean Your Recovery Is Complete

Why do you go to physical therapy? If you go because you suffer from some sort of pain it might be tempting to think that once the pain is gone you’re done. Well before you plan that ski trip, or decide to take a nice long hike, you should check out these 5 reasons why you might need to continue Physical therapy or work with your Physician to get deeper in to what really caused your symptoms and stop them from appearing again.

From our resident blogger and co-founder Dr. Kostas Rizopoulos:

Pain is a very abstract feeling totally related to the way we associate with the cause of that pain. Pain can be a deterrent from an activity or a motivator towards it. We are familiar with the phrase “no pain no gain” and although that can be true to some extend it can be damaging to another. Either way, the presence of pain is a useful feedback of a possible deviation from our biomechanical status quo, which might require attention.

When it comes to musculoskeletal pain, in the majority of cases, that pain is a product of wrong biomechanics. Many reasons such as work, lifestyle and stress can lead us to alter our normal biomechanics and adopt the wrong ones. Although, our sophisticated bodies will try to adapt and accommodate our new habits, not changing them (habits) will lead to dysfunction with all the aches and pains that are associated with it.  Focusing on the pain and not on the habit or the dysfunction is a common mistake that all of us do.

As a Physical Therapist, I come across many patients whose attention is on pain and not on what might have caused it. The assumption, “feeling no pain is the end of our problems”, cannot be further from the truth. No pain doesn’t always mean your recovery is complete. It usually means re-injury.

When it comes to musculoskeletal problems there are a number of areas that one has to take into account for a holistic approach to healing.

Your Physical Therapist in collaboration with your Physician will evaluate the following areas so recovery is complete and re-injury a minute possibility:

1. Biomechanics of injury. Recognize what has caused the injury and the importance of intervening and changing the circumstances that brought about the injury. Whether the reason behind the injury is work related, lifestyle (couch potato), skeletal asymmetries (one limb shorter than the other), wrong furniture (low, slouchy, and deep sofa), poor posture or excessive repetitive motion (sports) all are extremely significant to be identified and corrected.

2. Nutritional imbalances along with mechanical stresses can be a reason strong enough that might need to be examined. There is a common reality that our eating habits are out of balance with nutritional inadequacies. Checking the levels of vitamin B1, B6, B12, C along with levels of potassium and calcium is very important for the normal function of the musculoskeletal system.

3. Stress. Whether physical, mental or emotional, stress influences the muscles and joints of your body. Muscle tightness, due to stress, will impact the joints and posture as a whole. Doesn’t matter how many painkillers we consume if we don’t lower our stress levels or even better if we don’t disassociate our selves from it, re-injury is imminent.

4. Metabolic and hormonal inadequacies. Thyroid condition will affect the normal function of the musculoskeletal system. Your Physician must do a series of laboratory tests so the appropriate treatment can be established for metabolic and hormonal balance.

5. Sleep disorders. Musculoskeletal dysfunction disrupts sleep and disturbed sleep worsens the musculoskeletal dysfunction.

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