Fitness Blog

Tried to Make Me Go to Rehab

You know the old mantra “No Pain No Gain” isn’t true, but does that intelligent mind of yours play tricks with the sensations your body is experiencing? No? How about the signals your body is sending? Have you ever pushed past pain? Maybe cut your workout or run short, only to be back at it the next day hoping your bruise, stitch, cramp, or strain will mend itself? In How to Push Through Pain like an Olympian, Mark Kennedy explores how athletes push through discomfort and even pain to reach their goal during training or competition, including accepting that pain is part of the endeavour. He has a quote from Master Mental Game Coach Dr. Patrick Cohn, that sums up a strong mental approach to athletic endeavors, that high level athletes can dissociate from pain during training.

So what happens if an injury prevents you from performing your preferred mode of exercising? Do you resume your exercise immediately after the doctor’s prescribed period of rest? What about rehabilitation? If you ignore rehab, you’re not alone. People have a variety of excuses for not doing post-injury rehab: “It’s too boring”, “Getting back to exercise is rehabilitative enough”, and the dangerous, “Look at how the NFL gets players right back out onto the field”.

But the real truth is that everyone who has suffered an injury, should have a relationship with a physical therapist–and it should be a lifelong relationship. Just like with your dentist cares for your mouth. PT extends beyond the initial injury, to healing, arresting dangerous compensation movement, with the goal of getting you back to the activity you enjoy, with greater mobility, strength, improved alignment, and power. The APTA’S (American Physical Therapy Association) website lists a whole host of other reasons to make physical therapy and rehabilitation part of your wellness regimen, and their article Benefits of Physical Therapy makes a strong case for PT reducing the need for pain medication, and that benefit alone is a powerful incentive for saying “Yes” to rehab.

As for those who argue that rehab is boring, so is brushing and flossing, but we fervently hope that they do both anyway. So if you’re experiencing pain and the subject of rehab comes up, don’t say, “No no no”.