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  • Writer's pictureNashville PT

Injured? Aches and pains? Rest is usually NOT the answer.

That doesn’t seem right, does it? If you’re hurting, shouldn’t you just rest? Lie in bed? Hang out on the couch and watch Netflix all day? No activity, no exercise, no movement?


Rest seems like the right thing and often it helps ease the symptoms but it doesn’t really get rid of them. Let’s take a look at a little scenario we often see…

Let’s say you’re a runner. You’ve been running more miles lately because, well, quarantine. Your Achilles tendon starts to hurt. You run through it for a few more days and it gets worse. You decide the right thing to do is to stop running and rest it for a week. Maybe someone else told you that’s what you should do. So you take a week off running, off exercise altogether because all the gyms are closed, and you just rest. It feels better. You can get through your entire day now without hurting in your Achilles so you decide to try running again. You lace up your shoes and hit the pavement and BAM! It hurts again. Maybe even worse this time. So you take two weeks off. It gets better again. Then first run back, Achilles pain is back. Now it’s a month off. And so on, and so on, and so on.

We see this scenario a lot with patients and it’s usually months after this cycle starts that they come in. Patients keep trying to rest and it gets better but every time they resume the activity, it comes right back.

When we are hurting or injured, our bodies actually often need movement in order to help them heal, they just need the right movement. That’s where it gets tricky. What movement is the right movement when you’re hurt? How much should you do? What shouldn’t you do? Do you need rest? Do you have to quit your favorite form of exercise? Should you push through it? So many questions…

That’s where your PT comes in. We know what movements and exercises will help your body heal and help you get rid of your pain so you can do the things you want to do again. We would evaluate your symptoms and then build a customized plan for YOU so that you can stay active, stay moving, and heal. Sometimes you need certain exercises in the area that hurts. Sometimes it’s weakness or a mobility problem in another area that’s causing too much stress on the spot that hurts. Most of the time, it’s a combination of the two. You don’t need to worry about that though, it’s our job to figure that out and make sure you get the right things to work on to help it.

If you’ve been dealing with this on/off cycle of activity and rest because something is hurting and it hasn’t changed, come see us. It’s our goal to keep you moving, keep you active, and keep you healthy. In fact, it’s our mission: to keep active people active, without medication, without surgery, and without pain. The sooner you address these things the better. Try taking a few days off first and see if that helps, but if it doesn’t, it’s time to come see us. The longer these aches and pains are there and the longer you yo-yo back and forth between activity and rest, the longer they’ll take to heal.

Call/text us at 615-428-9213 or email to speak with a PT today about your aches and pains. If you're ready to dive in and tackle your injury, you can also schedule your evaluation online at any of our locations here.

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