Good vs bad pain

A few years ago, I attended a course on spinal symmetry given by Dr Suzanne Martin, DPT, PMA®-CPT, CLT. Suzanne has been practicing Pilates for over 30 years and is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, an exercise physiologist and a gold-certified Pilates expert who has a studio in California. One of her many roles has been Lead Physical Therapist for over 20 years with Smuin Ballet.

Recently she wrote an article about pain in Dance Studio Life. Although the article focussed on dancers, her comments and advice are applicable to all people especially this:

“Pain serves a great purpose. It can signal injury or disease in a straightforward way. Dental cavities often cause toothache and can signal the need for dental help. Pain has memory, where it warns us to avoid certain things that cause harm. Another effect of pain is to make us stop and rest, so that the body’s healing processes can take over and correct the situation.”

Suzanne advocates seeing a health professional if the pain is persistent after 10 days otherwise the injury may become chronic and lead to complications. She also suggests looking at your nutrition, eat regularly, take a daily multi-vitamin, get enough calcium (1200mg) and Vitamin D (1000g).

I used to be one of those people who believed I ‘had to work through the pain’ but as I have got older and learn from the best teachers I like to think that I know when to go and see someone to help diagnose where the pain is coming from and get it treated.

My advice to anyone who has pain is don’t put up with it for weeks or even months. Apply the 10-day rule and if the pain is still as bad as it was please seek advice from a health professional.

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