The Difference Between Pain and Injury

Posted: May 30, 2013 in Fitness
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ll start this one off by saying that human body is a hell of a lot tougher than most people think it is.  I’ve been a martial artist for over a dozen years and I can tell you that I’ve done things that I never thought possible, and withstood punishment that would make the average person cringe. This isn’t because I’m exceptional or some gifted athlete. It’s just what an average guy who trains at this level must go through in the sport I’ve chosen. When your head instructor leads an activity with the phrase, “I’m pretty sure bone is stronger than concrete” You know you might be in for a long day. He isn’t wrong about that fact though.

So many people make extremely limited gains because they don’t know where their limits are. They misconstrue general discomfort with something that will cause them to be injured. Pain is often a sign that things are headed south, but often athletes and fit people of all types must learn to work through a fair amount of mild pain. The end of a workout shouldn’t resemble a Swedish massage.

Injury is a whole different story. When you feel like you’ve tweaked something, or you start hearing pops or noises that don’t appear to be natural, it is certainly time to stop, Don’t ever attempt to push through anything like this.

I have unfortunately been down this road. I ignored some very severe warning signs during a workout. I was pushing it very hard during a period of time when I was undergoing some relatively serious head congestion and pressure. I was in the middle of a jump squat when the bones in my ears collapsed from the insane amount of internal pressure upon them. I had to travel to an ENT every morning for six weeks. He initially diagnosed me and informed me that I was restricted from exercise for about two months. My reaction to this was visible anger. He stopped me to tell me that I had serious problems. I asked him why he said this. His reply, “You got more upset over missing your workouts than the damage to your ear!”

I ended up getting 80% of my hearing back, but the remaining 20% appears to be gone forever. This all went down about three years back. This is my cross to bear for walking on the wrong side of of the fine line between pain and injury.

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