I would rather have, treat, and heal well from the injuries associated with my hyper-activity than face the chronic disease and pain which comes with a sedentary lifestyle.
Having said that, it stinks big-time that I can't run right now, smack in the middle of marathon training as one of the coaches of the C.R.E.W. program. I could run, but then I would be risking a much more traumatic injury, an achilles tendon tear or rupture, which would likely keep me from walking, working, and running for quite some time. Not worth the risk.
My local library is helping keep me sane, as I catch up on my long neglected reading list. Biking and pilates and lifting don't hurt, so meanwhile I can keep moving... but alas, it's just not the same.
I have had a slew of upper body, lower body, and back injuries in my career as a fitness professional. Ever tell you about the time I busted my tailbone taking snowboarding lessons? There's only so many times you can land on that same exact spot without breaking. Over time, though, I have gotten much, much better at taking my own advice in terms of listening to my body and incorporating appropriate rest periods into my work and my play. The support and treatment from some very open-minded, energetic, and talented doctors and health practitioners has been a tremendous benefit to healing and pacing myself. Let me thank Dr. Paul Lewandowski, Dr. Tim Maggs, Dr. Todd Titus, Dr. Mark Hyman, Sheila Fridholm LMT, Carl Braun LMT, and Georgia Decker ANP for their guidance.
When joint specific pain occurs, get to a doctor or a physical therapist and get it diagnosed. Period, end of story. When muscle pain lasts longer than a couple of days following vigorous activity, apply the P.R.I.C.E. treatment: Protection; Rest; Ice; Compression; and, Elevation. (In the presence of arthritis in a joint, ice usually feels awful and you may want to forgo it.) If P.R.I.C.E. doesn't work after a week or so, get to a doc or PT and get it diagnosed. If the symptoms are more like nerve pain than muscle pain, get to a doc or PT and get it diagnosed. How do you tell the difference between nerve pain and muscle pain? Nerve pain is usually more sharp, and may include tingling or numbness.
There are various combinations of stretching, stabilizing, and strengthening that can help treat and prevent injury. Athletic tape and kinesiotape can aid in keeping you moving and healing at the same time. Massage therapy, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy can reduce muscle tension, tissue inflammation, and pain. Then there's those good old over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications you know as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Yes, they work. Should you rely on them long term? Talk to your doctor about it. I've read enough research about the liver and kidney problems associated with frequent, long term use of acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen that I would just as soon avoid them. But, gratefully, I don't live in pain every waking moment of every day.
Nor do I wish to. So I move as vigorously and as wisely as I can, with a liberal sprinkling of methodical, meditative activity. Because human bodies, inside and out, operate at their best when they are in motion most of the time. Not fidgeting or driving... but rather ambulating, pushing and pulling, dancing and reaching! See you on the roads before long, hopefully you'll recognize me, I'll be the one running.