The Infinite Pain Cycle

PainCycle_Studioq360What happens when we experience pain? A stubbed toe, a rolled ankle, a fall from the roof- the effects are the same. The Infinite Pain Cycle begins.

When the pain first hits you probably string together a list of words that, individually, may not mean much but when said post accident make heads turn and the modest blush.

You then want to relieve that pain. Maybe the swearing took care of the stubbed toe, but a rolled ankle needs more. You turn to good old RICE therapy- Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. You sit back on the couch with your ankle on a pillow and throw an ice pack over the Ace bandage wrap and get better.*

Or maybe you don’t. Maybe you play through the pain and say you’ll take care of the injury “later”, a mythical timeline somewhere between not now and EMERGENCY!

Meanwhile you change your stride, start to limp- constantly adjusting your weight in an attempt to avoid the pain. You avoid activities that may aggravate the pain- finishing the roof, going for that 10 mile run, getting on the floor to play with the kids.

Suddenly, time elapses and weeks, months, years have gone by. Your back hurts and you don’t know why. Your “trick ankle” has become a buddy that tags along to all the parties. You don’t know where those extra 20 pounds came from, or why you are so sad.

The Pain Cycle is a harsh mistress- with psychological and physical ramifications. Add in a hyperactive Fight or Flight response that seems to scream “but if I don’t finish this project right now terrible things will happen!” and you’ve got what I call the American condition.

There is hope: you can break the cycle today with proper rehabilitation.

Breaking the Cycle

Get full body massages regularly. The benefits of massage therapy are endless. Massage increases circulation to help move fluids throughout the body: lubricating joints, increasing blood flow, draining lymph, and stimulating nerves.

Stay active and keep moving. Make sure to stretch your whole body before any physical activity. That includes getting out of bed in the morning, exercising, working, playing- you name it.

Incorporate RICE therapy (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) into your daily routine. Maximizing your relaxation by adding therapeutic elements can take your recovery farther, faster.

Drink plenty of water- half your body weight in ounces each day. Beer, soda and coffee may all be made with water but only water counts as water.

The Infinite Pain Cycle can be broken. Remember what Aldous Huxley said, “there is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that is your own self.”