One hurdle that challenges people’s recovery is pain. I often get the questions “Should I be feeling any pain?” or “How much pain should I experience?”. For some people I don’t get asked these questions, I’ll get a phone call or an email stating “I’m in pain, I can’t come in”. Pain is decidedly a concerning variable, especially when the person sought treatment is to get out of pain.
When I get the chance, I educate my patients about good vs. bad pain as well as how long pain should last if it is produced by an activity, exercise, or treatment. The biggest piece of advice I discuss with my patients is that recovery is never a linear journey. It can be aggravating, depressing, or unsettling if, and when the pain returns.
Knowing if the pain is good, bad, or expected during a treatment session, exercise, or independent activity allows a patient to reflect on their progress and journey. A lot of time this becomes more encouraging and allows the recovery process to move forward. When patients are fearful of the pain they are experiencing, they often decide not to move. While it’s a tactic that occasionally works, often it will perpetuate a longer recovery and prolong the pain. This is never our goal!
The long and short of it is, understanding pain will help you recover. Our goal is to make sure any pain experienced is short-lived and properly mitigated. We want to make sure you return to your normal life as quickly as possible!