Ever hear this sentiment? The body will degrade if you don’t actively work to improve it.
Pain syndromes are complex. Sometimes we can advocate for people in our lives to ask for a different statin or a reduced dosage, and pain decreases or vanishes. Other medications, likewise, create long-term patterns of irritation. Notably and ironically, anti-inflammatory medications reduce the body’s capacity to strengthen and create stability (this is the mechanism of the drug, and a non-controversial scientific fact), disrupting the repair at joint sites and muscle growth. Thus, people who trend toward pain tend toward pain as an additional consequence of their efforts to reduce risk markers or even to ameliorate pain itself. There are costs to any foreign agents we bring into the body. Some are known. Some are unintended consequences.
Regardless, because pain is tricky, it’s not a fantastic indicator or contra-indicator for activity. Even for advanced osteoarthritis, the guidelines of many authoritative organizations INCLUDE maximal strength training at up to 85% of absolute max intensity.
In fact, what I’ve noticed on average is that people whose pain is fundamentally derived from the deterioration of their bodies have a precisely linear inverse relationship between their needs and their tolerances. Even though restoring the body requires skeletal muscle contraction and overload, compromised people tend to increasingly avoid effective intensities. They actually seek activities which rapidly accelerate the deterioration. That is, frail people need to lift heavy weights or high resistance machine-based training; but they generally just do aquarobics and yoga modalities which amplify the trend of weakness. Pain gets worse. They scratch their heads.
Static stretches traumatize and destabilize tissue and joints, during which people release endorphins though actively weakening and damaging themselves. Doing resistance training confronts them with their weakness and requires “unpleasant” effort. The very thing they “feel” helps is hurting, and the thing they “feel” hurts is helping. They trade acute relief for long-term suffering instead of acute suffering for long-term relief. Lots of medications can be like that. Watch out.
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