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Should I Keep Exercising, Even Though I Have Pain?

This is without a doubt the first question that I get asked at a PT session. Even before, "What do you think is causing X pain?" Sometimes even before "How are you this morning?"

The answer is absolutely YES. Here's why.

1) If vigorous exercise is your outlet for stress reduction, then return to vigorous exercise is goal number 1. When you exercise intensely your brain releases chemicals that make your body feel good. If you constantly feel bad, and you constantly worry about what feels bad, then you will promote a cycle of feel bad, worry about it, feel worse, worry more about it and so on. We need to stop that cycle in it's tracks. You need to release tension in order to recover. You need to have an outlet outside of PT (so you can carry it on long after PT) that truly releases your stress related tension, allows you to recover, and allows you to heal. Being better at releasing tension = returning to your normal active lifestyle faster.

2) Inside a PT session we are working on learning. Your body is learning how to move in an often nitty gritty manner. Vigorous exercise releases chemicals in our brains that promote motor learning. A great example of this is with youth athletes. Do you ever wonder how the kid that's steaming around the soccer field stealing the ball from everyone and rocketing shots is able to do that? His affinity for hard exercise has allowed him to learn skills faster than his counter parts. His motor learning is accelerated because his legs are too. In your case, by learning how to move in PT, and then applying the concepts to your activities outside of PT in a more intense environment, you learn how to appropriately control your body faster than someone who isn't exercising. This will help you to correct which exercises in your typical exercise routine are contributing to your development of pain and get you better faster.

3) The number one predictor of injury, is a previous injury of the same area. By meshing together your rehab and exercise activity, you will gain confidence in the control you have over your body. When done properly, rehab and vigorous activity go hand in hand. They should not start and end, then restart again. When they are separated, the injured area may heal, by why the area was injured doesn't get resolved. You need to continue your activities and improve them while doing your rehab exercise.

At Human Function and Performance we have trained almost all methods of exercise. HIIT training, Crossfit, Camp Gladiator, Yoga, Martial Arts etc. We understand what you are getting back to so we can meet you where you need to go. If you are active and are stuck managing your symptoms, then call us and end the run around. Managing symptoms until they go away may seem like the only option but I promise you a true long-term solution is available.

If you need more information, check out our website At HFAP it is easy to resolve long-standing issues because we don't just identify what is causing pain, we help you understand why pain is developing in the first place.


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