Understanding Your Pain

At Serviceyourbody.ie Physical Therapy the vast majority of our clients come to us in pain, either acute or chronic pain. Understanding your pain is a key area we focus on when helping clients to manage injury and pain.

The Fear Avoidance model above was introduced by Lethem et al. in 1983, explains how people can develop chronic pain from musculoskeletal injuries. What starts out as a minor injury e.g. Back pain, can develop into more chronic pain through fear and avoidance of activity. This fear and avoidance thought process can feed into pain, until a person becomes paranoid to move and the pain becomes all consuming everyday.

Obviously at the early stage of an injury it is important not to over stress an injured site while rehabbing the area and preparing the area for a return to work or sport.

The Fear Avoidance model talks about how a person, when injured starts to have anxiety about the cause of the injury, missing work or training, fear of re-injury or they go to a doctor or specialist who tells them their injury is very serious.

This fear and avoidance thought process can develop into a vicious cycle of doing less activity, visiting different doctors and therapist looking for different solutions to the pain. So in the example of a client with back pain, they might stop their weight training classes, stop picking up the kids or carrying shopping, for fear they might re injury their back. We always hear people say "I have a weak back" or an "I have an old back injury so I cant exercise much", it is important to remember damaged tissues in the body heal within 6 - 8 weeks.

During the course of the injury the brain has been programmed to look for these pain signals from the back, in this case the nerves in the back can be hypersensitive and even thinking about a set of dumbbells can trigger these pain signals. These signals are not actually pain, they are warning signals sent to the brain. The brain then decides if it should transmit these signals into pain or not... so yes technically the pain is in your head.  In the case of chronic pain, the brain is programmed to transmit these signals into pain.

The process of understanding your pain and managing it, starts by trying to reduce these warning signals to the brain and change how the brain interprets these signals, at Serviceyourbody.ie we see movement as the best way to do this.

At Serviceyourbody.ie we educate clients on the importance of finding a baseline for your pain and movement, then starting at this base line and building on the simple movement that causes little or no pain. Then we build from this point by slowly introducing new ways to move e.g. starting movements on the ground, progressing onto the knees and then into standing.

As the body learns to move differently and warning signals lessen, the brain stops looking for these warning signals, so you may eventually get to a stage were movement is now pain free or modify your movement so as it is pain free.

This process can take some work and time, and we feel it is important to educate clients to understand their pain, do their research (not on Dr Google) and learn to control their thoughts around their pain.

If you would like to learn more about understanding your pain, please contact us for an appointment.


Injury Prevention Lucan

Injury Prevention Lucan

There are a couple of areas that need to be addressed when you are training for an endurance event and want to ensure Injury Prevention across a number of disciplines e.g. Triathlons / Adventure Races / Marathons.

The topics below should give a good overview to help assist in the reduction of developing injuries while training.

  • Warm up & Cool Down
  • Foam Rolling
  • Core Strengthening
  • Training Tip
  • Recovery Strategies
  • Common Training Mistakes & Injuries
  • Injury Management

Warm Up

  • Allow 10 – 15 minutes warm up
  • Include elements of the discipline you are training for e.g. Jogging, Strides, Jumping Jacks, Dynamic drills
  • A good warm up prepares the body for the training session
  • Move muscles & joints through full range of motion
  • Get the blood pumping throughout the body, build your warm up slowly
  • A good warm up help prevents any acute injuries

Cool Down

  • Walk/jog for 5-10 minutes – keep moving at a slower pace
  • Perform static stretches hold for 15 seconds x 2-3 reps
  • Static Stretching increases muscle length
  • Foam Rolling after your session helps reduce trigger points and increase muscle tightness
  • A good warm down helps recovery and prepares muscles & joints for increased training volumes

‘Foam Rolling’

  • While it can be sore form rolling is a great to self-massage/release tight muscles and keep the supple after training.
  • Roll along the entire length of the muscle 10 times
  • Stop on trigger points and pulse over them 10 times
  • Spend 1-2 minutes on each muscle
  • Foam roller can be used on legs / back as shown on video below.


 Core Strengthening

  • Your "core" refers to the muscle of your Pelvic floor / Back / Abs and Hips
  • Core muscles work to support the spine and pelvis helping to maintain good posture during daily and training activity.
  • A strong core leads to more efficient performance and reduces the energy required when training making you more efficent
  • Perform core work on rest days or build in a Pilates class on easy training days.
  • Below are some links to short videos to target Hips & Glutes, Low back and Shoulders.
  • Your focus should be on quality more than quantity




Training Tips

  • Wear suitable training gear and weather appropriate
  • Don’t just focus on cardio, work on technique and technical skills of disciplines.
  • Build in rest days - weekly and easy weeks - monthly, these allow the body recover then increase volume monthly.
  • Vary your training daily between disciplines.
  • Build in core / strength / resistance training into your schedule.
  • Rest when tired.

Recovery Strategies

  • Always perform a cool down
  • ‘Foam Roll’ regularly
  • Have regular massages to aid recovery & loosen tight muscles, i.e. 4-6 weeks www.serviceyourbody.ie

Common Training Injuries & Mistakes

  • Acute sprains, Fall and Trips
  • Overuse Training can lead to overuse injuries
  • To many intense sessions per week, i.e. 1 or 2 max per week
  • Not enough rest or recovery
  • Ignoring pain, training through pain
  • Not doing strength and resistance work
  • Not stretching or doing a cool down

Managing Injuries

Acute Injuries - P.R.I.C.E Protocol

P:      Protection is meant to prevent further injury, avoid weight-bearing, partially immobilising the injured area.

R:      Rest is important to allow for healing, as well as “relative rest” that allows for healing, such as gentle, pain-free, range-of-motion and basic movements of the joints and muscles around an injury.

I:      Ice refers to the use of cold treatments to treat acute injuries. 2 mins on the injured site / 2 mins off the injured site, repeat for 20 minutes, break for 20 mins and repeat.

C:      Compression is the use of a compression wrap, such as an elastic bandage, to apply an external force to the injured tissue. This compression minimizes swelling and provides mild support.

E:      Elevation of the injured site is recommended, it is best to have the injured site above the heart e.g. for ankle injury lie down and place ankle on a pillow so it is higher than the heart.

Do not train through pain when:

  • it is sore enough to prevent you training and you have to stop mid session
  • if the pain last more than a week
  • if you can not train the following day

If you are suffering from on going from exercise call us for an appointment and assessment:

www.serviceyourbody.ie 086 8318931