Feel our best to be our best

We are better in all aspects of our life when we aren’t dealing with pain. Pain puts us on high alert. It’s a threat in our mind’s interpretation, and it occupies brain bandwidth, preventing us from being able to focus on what is essential.

In today’s culture, we praise the athlete who plays through a severe injury. We admire the stoic person who lives with chronic pain, yet never complains. I don’t think we should be seeking immediate medical attention every time we experience an ache or pain; however, we shouldn’t be ignoring issues either. Failure to address injuries have more of an impact on us than we’d like to admit sometimes. We want to think we are “dealing with it” and that it isn’t impacting others in our life. While it is true that others can’t feel the pain directly, if we snap at our spouse or can’t play with our kids as a result of an injury, guess what? It’s affecting them as well. It also interferes with our jobs and hobbies. If you can’t enjoy a round of golf or a can’t tolerate sitting long enough to travel, your pain can take the enjoyment out of life quite quickly.

I genuinely believe that we are better versions of ourselves when we are pain-free, or at least close to it. That’s not to say we should live a life avoiding any difficulty or pain whatsoever. I’m a proponent of pushing our physical limits and with doing so, is destined to come with some anxiety. But that pain is temporary. I’m referring to the pains we neglect or try to ignore as they gradually begin to eat into our lives. I often refer to pain like this as “companion pains.” Companion pains often aren’t severe enough to cause a person to run into the ER or doctor’s office, but they tend to keep you from fully participating in life. Just because the pain isn’t intense doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be addressed.

The body is amazingly resilient and is meant to be tested, at least in my opinion. However, exercise or activity-related aches and pains generally resolve within a short amount of time, 2-3 days at most. If you have a pain that has been going on for months on end and has never been addressed or if you have no idea what is causing it, it’s probably a good idea to get it looked at. Pain is a message from your body, saying something isn’t right.



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