Movement and Pain

One of the biggest barriers to recovery is fear avoidance. Choosing to not do a particular exercise or movement because you think it will hurt or lead to pain is detrimental to long term recovery. Movement no matter how small, will almost always improve pain.

I often see people in clinic who say “I can’t run anymore because it hurts my knees” or “I can’t lift anything because my back is so bad!” These beliefs you have and barriers you create are part of a framework which is prolonging the pain that you have.

Our bodies are not mechanical machines, they don’t wear out or need parts replaced. We shouldn’t compare our bodies to machines or listen to analogies that make these comparisons. Our bodies are biological entities. They live, breathe, move and grow all the time. Our bodies thrive on movement and become sick or unwell if left unchallenged physically for too long.

Our bodies thrive under physical streets. That’s why exercise is so beneficial to health and longevity. That’s why I use the old adage “motion is lotion.”

If you are in pain or if you’ve had a flare up of a previous injury or pain pattern, don’t fear movement. Look to what movement you can do and use it to ease the pain.

Try not to fear or avoid exercise especially if it is something you love. Try not to choose an exercise that you don’t like. Exercise should be enjoyable and something you want to do. Exercise shouldn’t be something you only do because you were told to do it.

There might be times where it is beneficial to switch one type of exercise for another and occasionally it might be beneficial to choose rest for a day or two. However, long term it’s almost never a good idea to avoid or fear movement.