Pain: Stop, or "Keep Calm and Carry On?"

Should You Worry About This Pain?

Easily one of the most common questions we’re asked by our patients is in regards to pain, particularly after or during activities like a sport they play, running, or even just something as simple as shopping.  Most people equate any and all pain with something pathological going on.  That’s not always the case though.  So when should you worry, and when should you “keep calm and carry on?”

Carry On or See the PT’s at SSOR?

Pain at the start of activity that goes away and stays away.   Don’t worry about this.  Might be some arthritic changes in old knees or some stiffness in muscles or tendons.  Keep calm and carry on.
Pain at the start, no pain during, pain after.  Provided the pains are relatively the same, don’t worry here either.  Pain at the start is like the above, pain after is more than likely just “fatigue-related” pain.  Provided this pain after activity goes away, keep calm and carry on.
You’ve started to do more and tackled shopping for the first time after your total knee replacement.  Knee really aches when you get home and maybe extends to the end of the day.  Because you increased your activity level, your body is making an adjustment and this is your body’s way of telling you it’s tired.  Again, provided this pain goes away, keep calm and carry on.
Pain that worsens with activity, but goes away once you stop that activity.  Proceed with caution.  Something is afoot here and you should consider seeing the physical therapists at SSOR to help you figure out what’s going on.  It could be something as simple as changing your running route or looking at your mechanics of the activity you are doing.
Pain after activity only.  Keep calm and carry on if this pain goes away that day.  There could be a few reasons for this, but if it persists, give the gang at SSOR a call.  Again, might be something really simple to fix.
Pain after activity that extends into the next day.  Boy, you had a tough workout or activity.  If you’re training for a race for example, don’t amp your training run up until this workout doesn’t hurt.  If it persists, you should give the physical therapists at SSOR a buzz.  If it persists into the next day and goes away, don’t amp up – repeat until it’s painless
Pain that gets progressively worse.  Stop.  Something’s wrong and you should get checked out.
The bottom line is that the pain shouldn’t get progressively worse and should not start to extend into daily activities.  If taking stairs didn’t hurt before but now they do, you should give us a call.  Most pains during your activity come down to training errors, overuse, or something that we can help fix.
Why hurt?  Just give us a call!  Remember, you don’t need a physician referral to see a physical therapist in Kansas.  Getting PT doesn’t mean your activity has to stop or that you’ll be here for months – many times it’s just a visit or two.  It pains us to know you can’t do what you love because of pain!