When does excessive exercise become pain avoidance behavior?

When does excessive exercise become pain avoidance behavior?

Do you exercise constantly to avoid being stiff or in pain all the time? Do you need the daily exercises your therapist gave you months or years ago just to function during the day?

Do you believe Yoga is the answer to staying functional or that Pilates 2-3 times per week is what is needed just to feel good?

Do your daily runs help you feel better and avoid pain?

Are you practicing pain avoidance through exercise without realizing it?

How can you tell if your exercise habits are used to avoid pain?

Typical pain avoidance behavior is avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain or taking pills for relief.  Neither approach is good for your health or physical fitness.

We all want to stay healthy as many of us exercise for the health of it.

Others instinctively know that if they fail to keep up with their routine 3-6 days a week, they are in pain, feel stiff, and feel awful. Eventually, you cannot out-exercise the pain as years of poor adaptation and malfunction damages your joints and causes permanent damage that could have been avoided. The problem intensifies after the age of 40 for most people.

We all adapt to our environment, our body style, while we grow, and to injuries throughout our lives.   This adaptation can often become problematic if it results in asymmetry, tight fascia, torsion of the skeletal system through poor foot posture, scoliosis, or both. The long-term result is chronic pain due to impact, gravity, and its effects on our structure. Lower back pain is the most common poor adaptation patients complain about. Other typical complaints are plantar fasciitis, frozen shoulder, hip pain, sciatic pain, knee pain, ankle pain, and even hand numbness and elbow pain.

Animals move as integrated beings.   If that movement is asymmetrical, the body adapts to it although poor adaption can lead to chronic pain.

Exercise and movement are important for us. Sitting is one of the worst positions for us, as it results in less blood being pumped back to the heart from the extremities and tightness in the legs and hips, which can be felt as pain in the back and neck, and shoulders. Perhaps this is why the sit-stand desk idea has been shown to be a healthier alternative for those who work in front of a screen all day.  Studies have shown that sitting all day can actually shorten your life.

Exercise will improve the way you feel but hours later, you may notice that you are stiffening up again.  This results in the need to exercise again to get the dopamine fix you feel from exercise or stretching or activity.

Years later, you may realize that stairs become a problem, or you develop a frozen shoulder or you are experiencing more neck and shoulder pain.

The bad news is that much of this may have been avoidable if you had gone for the right help earlier in life.   Later on in life, many people discover chiropractors who help them move and function better.   Sometimes you just need a more objective primary care approach who understands your malfunction and can enhance it naturally while reducing the pain.

Chiropractic is a better way to pain management naturally.

The book Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain should be read by anyone who is using exercise for pain avoidance.   Rather than being just a self-help book with the same exercises that are more pain avoidance than cure, the book explains the mechanics behind why most of us hurt.

If you experience pain avoidance through exercise or even traditional avoidance of painful activities, seeing a chiropractor can be an eye-opening experience.

Chiropractors are different because

They are primary care for the musculoskeletal system.   Primary care medical physicians are uncomfortable with pain and have limited tools to help other than medications, expensive tests, or invasive interventions.   Chiropractors will take a deeper history, perform a holistic evaluation looking not only at where you hurt but evaluating everything.   Lower back pain can have numerous sources in the body from the feet up.  Evaluating everything improves diagnostic accuracy resulting in fewer x-rays and MRI scans which may not be helpful.

Care of the human frame and its articulations rather than a prescription for treatment to a part of the body.   Tennis or golfers elbow involves the legs and the pelvis for example.    Neck pain can be a lower-body problem and a frozen shoulder may actually be resulting from problems in the hips.   The old medical model of evaluating the part through a specialist is expensive and often results in other problems that may have been solved by a more accurate diagnosis.   If you continue to develop problems and are visiting multiple specialists who don’t talk, you are doing this wrong.  Chiropractic primary care is simple, effective, and reduces cost and risk.

Sometimes foot orthotics are helpful in leveling out the pelvis.  Done properly, they will reduce wear and tear on the joints, improve your wellbeing and improve the way you move simply.

Chiropractors are physicians who will use methods such as exercises, manipulation of the joints in the spine and extremities, and soft tissue methods such as myofascial release or Graston Technique to improve and retrain poor adaptations that make you hurt.

In our offices, we use simple functional tests to let people know when they can safely return to certain activities.   One provider can be far more effective than the segmented care model we currently see that has patients unnecessarily having to take unproven medications and expensive tests when their protocols do not work.

If your parents were in pain, there is a good likelihood you inherited those traits. A chiropractor can show you how to be the best possible you with those traits.

Do you want to avoid pain naturally and exercise for the right reasons?   See a chiropractor today.  Book online here.