Should I exercise if I have pain...


This is actually a huge question but let's simplify it as much as possible!


In short, pain is a sign that something is wrong, and we don't want to work with pain.


What Is Pain?


I really like this video 'Pain is our alarm system' which talks about the frontal cortex as being a 'conductor', and the 'pain tune' being just one of the many tunes it can play.



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The Pain Tune


Imagine if you had a brand new violin and you practiced the same tune every day, you would get really good at that one tune, but it would become a bit repetitive and wouldn't really make use of the violin.


There are so many beautiful 'tunes' that the brain can play, some might need more practice than others, especially during any recovery.



Sports Massage Therapist


I am a Sports Massage Therapist but I loathe the title because it makes it sounds like I pummel athletes, which is absolutely not how I work, or the sort of clients I tend to treat so I will call myself a Soft Tissue Therapist which sounds altogether calmer.





I often suggest clients with pain book a Sports Massage appointment prior to a movement session, before any decision about what is the best way to proceed. Although areas with pain may not be directly massaged, the surrounding tissues can benefit, and a full movement assessment can help with formulating a recovery plan.


With some hands-on assessment, we can work together to find out the best way to proceed, through talking, touching and gentle movement.


My hands 'hear' the tune the body is playing.

My eyes watch to see how my client is interpreting the tune.

My ears listen to feedabck from the client.


Then we can answer the question. Should I exercise with pain?


Don't Stop Change


I rarely encourage clients to stop moving, on the contrary, I almost always encourage them to move more, but it has to be appropriate. If the body feels vulnerable that pain tune may get louder!


Movement Should Always Be From A Place Of Safety.


The client needs to trust their body and their therapist.

When we trust we reduce the fear vulnerability can bring.

We can find safety.

We can limit that 'pain tune'

We can encourage new tunes!


Move Without Vulnerability


Do you trust your body?

Does the exercise you do cause you pain?

Both interesting questions aren't they.





Award-winning coach Sammie Mcfarland offers Pilates & Wellness coaching in Dorchester, Dorset & globally online. Find out more about Sammie,

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