If you’re in pain, you SHOULD train…most of the time!
To many, this statement might seem at odds. Of course, it’s a little more complicated than that as each case is dependent on the individual. However, in most cases, training whilst you have pain is actually beneficial. This should not be confused with training through pain. There’s a big difference!
Pain is common, NORMAL and incredibly important as it’s designed to protect us. It creates memories which hopefully shape our future behaviour. Pain can be related to changes in tissue, where the brain concludes the tissues are under threat and therefore makes us act. It is an excellent, yet unpleasant reaction to what your brain judges to be a threatening situation. If your brain doesn’t think you are in danger, then it won’t hurt.
Shouldn’t I Just Stop and Rest?
A common response to pain is to stop training and rest. It’s an understandable reaction. Perhaps it’s even more tempting to succumb to this approach during this period of lockdown. Early stages of injury actually respond well to this and it can encourage the healing process. However, it is important that we transition from this phase early on. Weight-bearing movement should be encouraged (obviously avoiding bone fractures etc) and, in most cases, progressed into resistance training.
There are many benefits to training with an injury so long as you stay away from the pain itself. Firstly, the body has the ability to improve in strength both sides, when only one side is trained. This cross-training phenomenon is a huge reason you should continue to train when you are injured or in pain. It will also improve overall tissue resilience, increasing the ability to handle more load. This is the basic rule behind making you ‘bullet proof’. If you can adapt to handle increased load consistently, then you are less likely to pick up soft tissue injuries in the first place.
The LiftOff Approach
When our members come to us following an injury, our focus is to get them back to training as soon as possible. The sooner this is achieved, the more we avoid ‘deconditioning’. This occurs in the muscle and tendons when they can comfortably handle the daily load they deal with. The more we allow our tissues to decondition, the further we have to come to return to our pre-injury fitness levels. Furthermore, here at Lift Off, we aim for positive adaptations achieved through our training cycle and carefully designed programming.
Training can also target areas you think aren’t even working. Take performing a bent over row as an example. This does more than work the arms and upper back. It can also have a positive effect on a painful lower back as the whole chain is working hard to provide a stable base in which it can pull the weight from. This can induce a reduction in symptoms through blood flow and the body’s own pain killing response.
Coach & Therapist Working Together
Training smart with pain can be a very effective rehabilitation plan so long as your coach and therapist can communicate. At LiftOff, we work alongside our in-house therapist, Jessica Woodhouse from Injury Active Clinic. She communicates regularly with our coaching team to make sure our members are training safely and adhering to the advice she has given during her treatment plans.
Will there be pain along the way? Possibly. With reward there often comes a little risk. But pain can be managed extremely well through continuing to train in the right way. Prolonged rest periods rarely serve us well.
If you are struggling with injury, need advice on how and when to train to aid recovery, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.