• July 6, 2020

I’m Hurt. I’m in Pain. And You Want Me to Exercise?

pain adaptation in physical therapy

I’m Hurt. I’m in Pain. And You Want Me to Exercise?

I’m Hurt. I’m in Pain. And You Want Me to Exercise? 1000 812 Positive Energy Physical Therapy

Pain Adaptation: resuming movement for a quick recovery

No, we are not crazy.  There is a method to the madness. I must admit that it does seems odd that we want you moving as much as possible following experiencing pain. But resuming movement, especially meaningful activity, is important for a quick recovery.

The reality is the human body is incredibly resilient and needs stress (especially physical stress in the form of exercise) to grow, adapt, and recover. Consider the following examples:

  • After a hip replacement surgery, people are up and walking the same day. There is still a lot of damage around the joint but it is the gentle movement that helps with pain and stimulates healing.
  • Individuals with osteoporosis (weakening of the bones) need to exercise to place stress on the bones. Rest would accelerate the issue. It is the stress that makes the bones adapt and grow stronger.


resume exercise for quick recoveryJust as the body adapts and grows stronger, we can adapt to pain. At first, experiencing pain is threatening. Pain threatens our ability to live our life, participate in our hobbies, perform our sport, and do the things we love. This can be scary and set off our internal alarm to panic!

With physical therapy we can introduce different types of physical stressors so that your body can slowly adapt to them in a non-threatening way. Over time your body will turn off its natural “pain alarm” because the stressors become less threatening. This will not only alleviate pain but better prepare the body for the next time it experiences similar symptoms in the future, making your body more robust and resilient.

If you’re having difficulty managing your pain, contact the team at Positive Energy so we can help you take the first step in your recovery.