For athletes, the old paradigm of working through your pain is about as outdated as nutrition and the three food groups. Pain is a warning sign. To ignore pain invites more problems through a self-inflicted injury. This can result in a muscle tear or an injured joint that often takes much longer to heal with more costly intervention.
As an extreme case, I often think of Ronnie Lott, the great cornerback for the L.A. Raiders. In the middle of one football season, he had part of one of his fingers amputated so he could play in an upcoming game for the following week.
It may seem foolish to some, but we all do questionable things when our livelihood is involved. In reality, you have to know when to stop in order to diminish self-inflicted injuries. Virtually, all injuries respond better to early intervention whether that intervention is chiropractic, acupuncture or orthopedic surgery.
No More Wait And See
The old approach of ‘ Wait and See’ only produces more problems. Waiting allows scar tissue more time to develop, which creates a loss of motion and join restriction as arthritis starts to develop.
I’ve seen dozens of whiplash cases over the years were patients waited several months to come into our office. Their treatment consisted of little more than wearing a cervical collar and medication to control their pain. Once they start physical therapy, it may take several weeks or months to catch up with the curve. Chiropractic and acupuncture restore normal posture and gait mechanics. That beats living with a deformity or long-lasting pain.
More severe cases involving knee and shoulders are better off if a surgical intervention is initially sought out. With today’s intervention of joint and ligament repair, there is no longer a need to have a knee meniscus removed. Treatments now include growth factors and stem cells that act as a biological replacement for damaged tissue in the joint.
Don’t Overdo It
Keep in mind it also easy to overdo rehabilitation as well. There must be a balance between working hard and overusing. You want to push hard to push the body to create stronger muscles, without taking the joint past the point of ligament tear.
Rather than get yourself into an emotional funk, look at the injury as an opportunity to make yourself better. With the right motivation and training, you can become faster and stronger than ever before regardless of what your starting point is.