Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pain management for endurance athletes

There are many things going on in my mind...and body...the past several weeks.

I did allergy testing this past Thursday to determine what family of wasps shoots deadly (for me) venom, then went to get my shoulder checked Friday.

Have been processing how to best deal with my recent onset of problems.  One advantage looms large when facing injuries:  Endurance athletes train for pain.

I had this discussion with Chuck, my riding buddy who suffered a horrendous cycling crash earlier this summer.  On every ride, on every climb, we practice the art of enduring pain.  More pain = a better performance.  You might believe you can't take any more; then the guy next to you upshifts from low gear and you can either drop back, or shift and absorb the next level of pain.

As we grow our tolerance, we also prep for the art of aggressive rehab.  Most times doctors will tell you "let pain be your guide."  My tolerance for pain lets me reach deeper and further than others who have not  developed the ability to increase their thresholds.

I'm 11 days out from my crash and already have overhead range of motion in my right arm.  I plan to be in the pool very soon for swimming, the ultimate activity if I want to get my body back on track.

It won't be fun or pleasant, but I will tolerate the discomfort to reach the outcome I intend.  When we train for pain, there's a life advantage that gets us through the rough spots.

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