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Don’t ignore pain

We’re all familiar with the “toughen up” language of most sports. We’re told to “suck it up,” “push through the pain” and beat pain through “mind over matter.”

While this mindset may help an elite few land a spot on an Olympic podium (almost certainly to be followed several years later by chronic joint, tendon and/or muscle issues), for most of us it’s simply a recipe for injury. Equally dangerous for athletes and non-athletes alike are comments like “Oh, it will go away” or “I’m just getting old.”

Pain is a red flag that indicates your body is not in homeostasis, or a balanced, functioning state. It means something is irritated and needs your attention, and it shouldn’t be ignored. The more quickly you seek treatment, the less damage will be done and, generally speaking, the shorter the time needed for treatment.

If you’re not sure what’s causing the pain, your first line of defence is your GP. He or she should be able to pinpoint which of your body’s systems is being affected and suggest a course of treatment.

If your pain and/or dysfunction is stemming from soft tissue (i.e. muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bursa, etc.), massage therapy should be one of the first treatments suggested.

More than 700 soft tissue conditions can be treated effectively with massage therapy, either stopping the pain cycle completely or as part of a broader pain management treatment plan.

Here’s one more adage to remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Regular massage therapy can also keep healthy muscles and ligaments supple and free from restrictions that could turn into problem areas.

Add to that the known stress-busting benefits of massage and you’ve turned your recipe for disaster into a recipe for healthy living – no referral required!

 

Ingrid Waterman is a Registered Massage Therapist and the founder of i Day Spa in Courtenay. For a complete list of services, call 250-871-0411 or visit www.idayspa.ca.

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