October is National Chiropractic Month and the focus this year is “Find Your Game.” This simply means achieving optimal function at any level of fitness. That includes everyone from athletes to office workers, young and old. We encourage you this month to focus on being your best, feeling your best, and performing your best.
Should I Play Through The Pain?
Athletes and weekend warriors may try to play through the pain, hoping a painful elbow or low back will get better by itself. As a rule of thumb, the earlier a musculoskeletal injury is treated, the sooner healing can begin. An untreated injury can easily slide from “acute” into “sub-acute” and even into “chronic.” Each phase has its own characteristics and challenges.
The acute phase lasts from 48 to 72 hours after injury. This phase is characterized by pain, inflammation, and loss of range of motion, increased temperature around the injury, and swelling.
An injury can become sub-acute at any point after that period. In this phase, the swelling decreases or disappears altogether and range of motion improves. The sub-acute phase can stretch out for weeks and even months, depending on the severity of the injury and rehabilitation required. During this phase, the doctor of chiropractic works on flexibility, postural training, non-weight-bearing strength / coordination training and pain management. Knowing the phases and what therapies to incorporate during which phase is crucial to recovery.
Our doctors of chiropractic are trained to work with musculoskeletal injuries in any phase. Injuries are considered chronic from about two weeks after trauma until recovery. The longer an injury goes untreated, the more likely it is that the brain will accept it as “the new normal.” Therefore, if optimum function for life is the goal, treatment should be sought out sooner, rather than later.