Pushing Through Pain

dog walking

Therapist Blog by Matt Immerman (PT, DPT, OCS)

You may have heard the saying “no pain no gain” and that to see progress one must push through all discomfort in order to reach their goal. While there is certainly value in being able to tolerate some discomfort in certain cases and pushing through, this is not always the case.

Imagine you are walking your dog, and your dog sees its best canine friend across the street and starts speeding up. Initially, you may speed up as well, but as the dog speeds up even more, you may decide to yank back on the leash and re teach your dog the “sit,” “heel” and “stay” commands. Because you are OK with your dog pulling you a little bit, but in the end he or she has to know who is in control of the walk. After several times of doing this and being delayed in getting to play with its best friend, your dog will realize that it will get to its goal faster if it just goes at your pace.

In the scenario above, the painful or injured body part is the “owner”, and pain is the “leash.”

When recovering from an injury, surgery, or other painful conditions its important to gradually reintroduce movements and activities based on what the body can tolerate at that time. Doing too much too soon and ignoring the pain may force the body to use its “leash ” (pain) to yank you back and ultimately slow your progress.

Contact a Physical Therapist at OrthoBethesda

Seeing a physical therapist can be very helpful because after a careful examination, they can help you create a step by step plan that reintroduces activities and movements that you are currently having a hard time with in a graded manner. So that your body won’t have to “yank” you back. As you complete the process and reach your goals, there will be no more need for the leash!