At PPP we assess and treat pain every day. In this Blog we discuss what type of pain you should be worried about and when pain is normal or OK!
No-one really wants pain: once you have it you want to get rid of it. This is understandable because pain is unpleasant. But the unpleasantness of pain is the very thing that makes it so effective and an essential part of life, it alerts you to danger, often before you are injured badly. It makes you move differently, think differently, which also makes it vital for healing.
Occasionally the pain system appears to act oddly – like the scratch you don’t feel until you see the blood at the injury site. Other times the pain system fails – some life-threatening cancers are not painful, which is the reason they can go undetected and can be so nasty.
We believe that all pain experiences are a normal, though unpleasant, response to what your brain judges to be a threatening situation. We believe that even if problems do exist in your joints, muscles, ligaments, nerves, immune system or anywhere else, it may not hurt if your brain thinks you are not in danger. In the exact way if no problems whatsoever exist in your body tissues, nerves, or immune system, it will still hurt if your brain thinks you are in danger.
A little trivia: people around the world consume more than 100 billion aspirin tablets per year. If you put them all in line, the line would be 1 million km long (that’s to the moon and back). Maybe we need to understand pain better and not rely on medication only?
Explain Pain (David Butler and Lorimer Moseley) is a great resource if you want to dive into this topic more. It is available in our PPP library!
Talk to our PPP Physios if you have any questions!
We would like to tell you more about what information pain gives you:
Is there such a thing than good pain?
The most common form of “good pain” is the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). If you challenge your muscle with something unusual or simply more than usual, you will experience pain 1-2 days later and the used area will be sore to touch or use. However, the soreness will go away quickly and there is no residual pain. You could also experience the good pain after a physio or massage therapist release a trigger point in a muscle or a tight area. It should improve after a few days with no residual pain.
What, then, is bad pain?
Bad pain keeps you up at night or has very high pain rating. Physios use the 0-10 visual analogue scale to quantify the intensity of your pain. Bad pain is an injury!
Continuing to exercise when injured will not allow you to push through to reach your goals, you need to seek a recovery plan and consult with your physio.
Bad pain comes in many forms, impacting on our muscles, joints, tensons, ligaments or nerves. The pain is generally sharp (occasionally shooting) and sudden or high in intensity (more than 5/10 on the pain scale 0-10). It also persists past a few days or increases. Hence further investigation and treatment is required by your physio.
Let us help you with the bad pain! If you have pain lasting more than 24 hours, if it is intense and lingering past 3 days or if simply you are not sure, give us a call or chat with us!