#43 Do You Understand Pain?


#43 Do You Understand Pain?

Pain is one very important way the body communicates to the brain. Pain represents that #1, there is damage. This damage can be good or bad. It is very important to understand the two different pain messages. Bad damage needs to be stopped and allowed to heal vs. good damage that needs to be continued and will go away.

The 1st message: There is damage and it’s bad. If you step on a nail or bump your knee on a table, you get a pain message sent from the body to the brain. This message is letting your brain know that there is a problem and damage is occurring and to not do that again. The more severe the damage that has occurred, the more severe the pain will be.

If there is significant damage, like stepping on a nail, then even after you have removed the nail, there is a lot of damaged tissue that needs to heal. That area will still send pain messages to your brain letting you know you need to be careful and allow that area to heal. If you were to continue to try and run on that foot or push through the pain, it will take much longer to heal or may never heal at all.  If the damage is minor, like a bump on your knee, then the pain may be gone right away. If you don’t bump it again, the pain won’t come back.

The 2nd message: There is a change. If you go for a run and have not run in years, your muscles and joints are going to send pain messages to the brain letting you know damage has occurred. If you give the body enough rest and quality nutrition and then run again within a few days, eventually your muscles and joints get stronger, damage heals, and the pain subsides.

However, if you run a marathon and have never run one before or have not run in 20 years, there is a good chance you will cause severe damage and not be able to run for quite a while. The key to increasing strength and fitness is to go beyond your comfort level, but not exceed it so much that you injure yourself.

If you have not run in 20 years, then the healthy way would be to go for a long, quick walk followed by running for a few blocks at a time. If you have sustained too much joint damage from previous injuries, you may also need to understand that running may not be a good option as there is too much permanent damage present.

If you are experiencing pain, evaluate your type of pain. If it is because you just started gardening again or exercising again, then recognize that, and don’t overdo it. Be consistent with that desired activity and the pain will go away. If you exercise once a month and are not consistent, your body will never adapt, and pain will continuously reappear.