Playing Through The Pain

by Randy Murray on August 16, 2012

Recently, it slowly dawned on me that my shoulders, both of them, hurt all of the time. I’d gotten used to it, sitting in this chair, writing for hours on end. It really just snuck up on me, a minor accompaniment to the much more intense back pain I’ve had for years. At first I just shrugged it off (OK, that hurt, too). Then I accepted it as just a part of getting older and the type of work I do.

And then, one day when they were really sore, I asked myself a simple question: “Can you do anything about this?”

Turns out that I could. I went to see my family physician and she sent me to physical therapy. Physical therapist are my favorite medical professionals. They have something that doctors and nurses typically don’t have: time. My experience with them has been uniformly good over the years for various problems (including a bad broken bone that resulted in my not being able to move to fingers on my left hand until they helped me work it out—now back to 100% functionality).

This experience has taught me that yes, I can work though the pain, but I shouldn’t. I can work more, and work better, when I’m pain free. Although it’s counter-intuitive, I get more productive hours in the day when I take breaks, including one extended break to exercise and stay limber.

Pain is trying to tell you something. You just have to figure out what. Then do something about it.


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