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Pain as an Indicator

Pain versus soreness versus fatigue. These can all be an indicator for progress and next steps.

All three have similarities, but have very important differences.

There is in fact a very important difference between all of these.

As a performance therapist, whether you are a sports athlete, lifting athlete, or weekend warrior. We look at managing fatigue, soreness, AND pain.

Soreness and fatigue, while we keep a close eye on it, it’s not something I get overly concerned about unless it becomes a trend.

Pain however is something that we are looking at regularly coming off an injury.

Sometimes you will have some pain, and that’s okay. It’s when it gets to be a little too much that we need to look at backing something off.

Usually if you experience discomfort, around a 2 or 3 and goes away after the exercise stops, I don’t get worked up. However, if we go above a 4-6, we proceed with a little bit of caution. If it gets above a 6/10 and we are having pain even AFTER exercise.. that is when we need to re-evaluate things and see what we need to change.

Think of a stop light for this.

<3: green light

4-6: yellow light

6+: red light

The chances of having some pain with exercise after an injury can be common. Finding that sweet spot allows us to see which things we are pushing correctly, and what things we need to re-evaluate. Understanding that there COULD be pain can give us confidence that when we experience this it doesn’t mean we are off track or off course. It could be more so a gauge of where we are. Pain CAN be good to give us information of what we need to focus on. Where we are smokin’ it, or even just how far we have come!

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