As challenges of life build-up, it is easy to lose inspiration, fall off the workout wagon, or even develop anxiety, depression, and profound sadness. The commonly used phrase “If it hurts don’t do it” prevails, and performing the activities we love, and our happiness suffers.
There are absolutely physical situations where we need to honor our bodies and take an appropriate rest or break. No pain no gain is a phrase of the past. However, we can also work with our bodies, through the power of movement, therapeutic neuroscience, goal setting, and even gratitude to find more motivation. Why do we seek treatment to be told we should stop doing what we love? We don’t.
At N2 Physical Therapy, we believe in working with patients in a multidisciplinary environment and encouraging patients to strive forward. Empowerment for mental, emotional, and physical health are common ingredients in a properly designed treatment plan. Not only collaborating with medical doctors, nurses, or physician assistants, but also with naturopaths, acupuncturists, nutritionists, massage therapists and more are vital to really achieving activity goals and performance levels. To combat the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, and honor helping people fulfill their passions, we consider the whole body: mind, movement, physical.
Why choosing a sedentary lifestyle to combat pain is more harmful than helpful.
The risks of a sedentary lifestyle are well researched and well documented: obesity, anxiety, diabetes, sleep problems, bone density changes, and more. Sedentary behavior is also linked to increased musculoskeletal pain. Even further, a study conducted in 2019 on sedentary workers showed an increase in occupational hazards such as mental health problems and back pain. To respond to problems, such as pain, anxiety, stress, and difficulty with movement without a solution to allow the movement is a disservice to our clientele. Working with a provider, or multiple disciplines, to help you maintain physical activity, movement, and health, is crucial to reaching your goals and staying healthy.
Advocating for your provider to treat the whole body
The days of having shoulder pain resulting in looking only at your shoulder are (or should be) over. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health is the model that physical therapy is now trained to follow. This looks at more than just where the pain or injury is, and as the whole person. The components of the ICF summarized are as follows:
- The body functions, structures of people and any impairments related to functioning at this level.
- The activities of people and the limitations in activity a person experiences.
- The participation or involvement of a person in society.
- And the environment in which experiences take place in, and are the helpers or barriers.
For more information on the ICF Model, see the following link provided by the CDC:
The take-home message is clear: there is more to curing your pain or problems with your favorite activity than working on the part of your body that hurts. Your provider or providers should work together to look at all aspects of your pain: where it happens, when, why, the impact it has on your social life, the aspects of these concepts that are interacting, and how all of it is orchestrating together.
At N2 Physical Therapy, your provider knows that to properly treat your pelvic floor, we have to also look at your spine, your pelvic girdle, and even your jaws, and feet. And the solution to living a wholehearted and happy life is not to take away activities that can be brought back to life through a proper and thorough plan of care. Be ready at any visits to list all the aspects of your body and structure that do not feel right, when this happens, and how it changes. An environment with all the information, a team working in the same direction, toward a meaningful goal is the environment that heals.
Laura Fre Law and Kathleen A Sluka. How does physical activity modulate pain? Pain. 2017 March; 158(3): 369-370. doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000792.