Today we’ll discuss the common saying, “no pain, no gain.” Like many other common sayings, people tend to state this as if it’s a fact. So, is it a fact? Well, I’m not sure if we’ll be able to reach a consensus, but I’ll give you some information that will both support this statement and refute it.
First, it’s important to gain more understanding about the purpose of pain. Pain exists to indicate that there is something wrong with our body. Nobody likes to be in pain, but it does serve a purpose. If we only seek to eliminate pain (with medication and injections) without fixing what’s causing the pain, we will likely not have long term success.
Often the source/cause of pain will be the main factor in determining if “no pain, no gain” is accurate. If we’re dealing with an overuse type of injury, we really don’t want to reproduce the pain with our activities. This would include such conditions as lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), plantar fasciitis, any type of bursitis or tendonitis, or spinal strains. In these situations we need to assist the body in healing, and if we continue to do activities that trigger the pain, we will not have success in eliminating the pain. So in those situations, we do not want to cause pain and would not agree with “no pain, no gain”.
Conversely, sometimes we deal with stiffness or loss of mobility in the body. When we work on gaining back lost mobility, this is not typically a pain free endeavor. So if we are stretching or mobilizing a tight joint or muscle, it will be uncomfortable, and we’re ok with that. In fact, we expect that. So in cases such as these, we enthusiastically say “no pain, no gain!”
A third situation deals with trying to gain strength/muscle. When trying to build muscle we need to challenge the body so that it reinforces itself by building more muscle. We need to push muscles to the point of fatigue (“feel the burn”), and this typically results in some post workout muscle soreness. So if people are doing a muscle workout and they complain about being sore afterward, guess what we’re going to say? You guessed it, “no pain, no gain!” That being said, there is an appropriate amount of soreness that is good, as opposed to not being able to move for 2 days! But that’s a topic for another time.
So as you can see, sometimes this common phrase is accurate and applicable, but sometimes it is not. If you’re not sure, please ask Mason, Steve, or Brian, and we will be glad to give you an answer!
Mason Riegel, PT
During the holidays it seems everyone is talking about diets, and how they do not want to gain any holiday weight. But other than gaining unwanted weight there are actually more negative side effects that you may not have thought about. One big one is inflammation in your body.
What is inflammation?
“When inflammation occurs, chemicals from the body's white blood cells are released into the blood or affected tissues to protect your body from foreign substances. This release of chemicals increases the blood flow to the area of injury or infection, and may result in redness and warmth.” (webmd)
What are the symptoms / physical signs of inflammation?
There are several home remedies to get rid of inflammation in your body, some of them are:
By: Rebecca Popma
A bad spill can be a life-changing experience. More than 1/3 of adults 65 and older fall each year in the US! If you feel like your balance isn’t what it once was, or if you’ve experienced a minor or major fall in the past, here’s a few tips for you:
1. Move regularly! Don’t avoid physical activity because of fear. Exercising, walking, and moving will continue to train your brain and your muscles in how to balance. The more you move, the more confident you will be in your steps and movements. (An exercise class is a great way to do this!)
2. That being said, you want to make sure you’re moving in a safe environment. Wear sturdy shoes when you’re out and about, and be careful of slipping while wearing socks in your home. Look around your home and see if there are any tripping hazards like cords, loose rugs, etc. Make sure your staircase has handrails and your shower/tub has grab bars. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the use of a cane or walker. Plow and salt your driveway in the winter (or hire someone to do it). Position yourself for safety in your everyday tasks in your home.
3. Vision: One of the biggest causes of falls is poor vision. Have your vision checked annually and wear your contacts or glasses. The other part of this is to have good lighting in your home, and take extra precautions when you’re out and the lighting is dark.
4. Have your hearing checked. The inner ear is highly related to balance! Also, if you suffer a certain type of vertigo (BPPV), physical therapy can help you, and it is often a quick treatment process.
5. Train your brain & muscles to balance: perform exercises (in a safe environment, with instruction) to improve balance while standing/sitting still, and while moving.
6. Improve your strength, mobility and posture: a lack of strength or mobility in a joint can add stress or pain to other parts of the body, and can contribute to a fall. Focus on training your core, hips, and legs, (along with stretching), as these are shown to significantly help improve your balance.
If you struggle with balance or have had some close calls with falling, don't hesitate to give us a call and see what we can do to help you: 616-662-0990.
By: Lisa Bartz, C-EP
December is here, and so is the winter weather! There are two major types of injuries that seem to go along with one of winter’s biggest issues: shoveling snow.
The first and by far the most serious injury is heart attacks. Every year across the country, people suffer heart attacks and/or heart-related symptoms when shoveling snow. Snow can be heavy, and in combination with all the extra clothes we wear, very taxing.
This leads us into the second and probably the most common injury: back pain. Shoveling is one of the most taxing activities on your back. It is very repetitive and at times heavy, putting a lot of stress on your spine.
There are several things to keep in mind to keep you safe and healthy during this winter weather:
If you keep these few simple things in mind, it can lead to a healthier and happier winter.
By: Brian Colvin, PT
Steve Bartz, PT