Scroll Top

Why Treating Your Pain Is Wasting Your Time

I see it every day.  Someone experiences pain in an area and they work to fix the problem.  Stretching, rolling, maybe some strengthening exercisesThe pain doesn’t go away.  If it does go away, it returns later – could be a day, a week, a month, or several months.  The cycle continues in this manner. 

It is a normal tendency to feel pain and want to address the area of pain.  The problem with this method is that pain and inflammation are symptoms…that’s it.  Many times, the area of pain is not where the actual issue is.  If all you do is address the symptoms, the cycle will not be broken. 

It is time to start looking away from the area of pain to find the true cause of the pain and inflammation. 

Movement Faults 

Our bodies learn bad habits with movement from an early age – starting in grade school, actually.  Over the span of years and decades as our positions, postures, and habits of life cause areas to get tight and/or weak, the movement patterns continue to be faulty and may even worsen – that is unless you recognize it and do something about it. 

As we function with these movement faults, our joints move in ways that are not ideal for them and our muscles, tendons, and ligaments take on abnormal forces.  This creates “wear and tear” in the joints and increased stress and strain in the soft tissues.  Your tissues can only hold up for so long before they say, “I’ve had enough!” and develop pain. 


Our bodies are great at compensating without realizing it, especially when you are dealing with injuries – present or past. 

When we sustain an injury to an area, the body will change how it is moving in order to still be able to function around whatever range of motion deficits are present as well as to avoid pain as much as possible.  Over time, these compensations will create new injuries.  This is why it is important to modify workouts as necessary when injured.  The more you compensate while training when injured the more you are at risk of compensation injuries. 

Past injuries can also impact us.  If you had an injury or surgery in the past, it is possible you have soft tissue changes or mobility changes.  These may go unnoticed for years, without you noticing your body is moving different.  Your movement feels and appear normal to you.  In these circumstances, issues often show up 10-15 years later in an area away from the injury. For example, a knee issue from the past may show up as a hip or low back issue later on. 

Mobility Deficits In Other Joints 

When we lack motion in a joint (for any reason), other joints will “pick up the slack” in order for you to continue to function in your daily tasks, your training, and your racing.  For example, if rotation is limited in the shoulder, the elbow and wrist may compensate to allow you to be able to press something overhead or to hang onto a bar.  Over time, the joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles get aggravated and inflamed, resulting in wrist and/or elbow issues. 

In all of these circumstances, you can treat the area of pain all you want, but until you address the actual cause of the injury, the pain will continue to recur. 

Have questions about what you are dealing with?  Schedule a call to discuss your situation with The OCR Doc: 

Join me on Facebook:

Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) Athlete Health And Performance


Follow me on Instagram:



Subscribe to my YouTube channel:

Get Your Fix Physical Therapy


Subscribe to my Podcast

Highly Functional

Related Posts

Leave a comment