BBJ Fitness Corner | Understanding pain

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WHETHER you’re an athlete or a fitness enthusiast, in order to achieve a desired goal and break through limitations, you must experience pain.

However, with the guidance of Gold's Gym personal trainer Jerry Diaz, you can also understand the causes of pain and how to act accordingly.

When in pain, some athletes think  they could just play through it, hoping it will pass over eventually.

As a competitor, Diaz said  he has experienced this. “I played through painful injuries, participated in running events while my knees were inflamed, and exercised even with a sharp back pain. At first, during the event, as my adrenaline pumped, the pain subsided. However, it was not the smartest idea as it also required a longer recovery time before I could heal.”

He said many fitness enthusiasts, athletes, trainers and coaches “have a routine mindset to keep improving by moving to be better each day.”

However, he added, learning to take a day off is also important because it allows body tissues to heal and rebuild themselves.

"I will call off a client’s training session if he or she feels pain," Diaz said.

As a professional certified trainer,  Diaz assesses each client's pain level. He also has to know the difference between soreness, serious muscle tissue tear and ligament inflammation.

He said a person could continue training or competing only if the pain is manageable and won’t lead to a serious injury.

"I would suggest an active recovery workout routine that is less demanding on the body to promote blood flow. This is a therapeutic approach and involves Pilates, Vinyasa, swim strokes, or iso-core stabilization techniques." Diaz said.

Greg Tebit gets back to yard work after a back surgery. Contributed Photo

He said he reminds his clients that pain is an important communication tool that tells us to avoid activities than can lead to serious bodily harm.

To avoid lower back pain, for example, building the torso’s foundation is essential, Diaz said.

He said excess weight, low levels of strength and conditioning endurance, inappropriate exercises/ movements or posture can lead to increased pain in this region of the body.

To help relieve pain, Diaz advises heat/cold therapy.

Heat therapy increases blood flow, which allows for relaxed and less tense muscles.

Heat therapy includes saunas, hot baths or heat pads.

Cold therapy is known in the sports industry as the easiest approach to healing. It aids in reducing blood flow, which can reduce inflammation and swelling.

Cold therapy includes ice packs, ice bath/ice whirlpool or ice massage.

A client of Diaz, Greg Tebit said he experienced back surgery two years ago. He can now perform daily functional movements such as going to work as an educator,  performing yardwork at home, and enjoying recreational activities.

But he said he had to undergo weekly physical therapy and movement consultations to avoid pain while improving his range of motion.

He said it was important to trust the process by not rushing things.



November 2020 pssnewsletter

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