Recovery is a challenging journey for everyone. It’s full of frustration, and quite often it does seem like nothing works. Today, we’ll share seven tips to help you zhng up your recovery this year!
Stop following old wives’ tales
A lot of people have strong opinions on what works for them. Most of these are not based on science, and should be taken with a huge heapful of salt.
Some of the common pain-related narratives that are not grounded on science are:
Following advice that is grounded on junk science or broscience is incredibly frustrating. You put in the effort to only realise that you don’t get the outcomes you were looking for.
Then you start to doubt your chance at having a complete recovery. You may start to see your own situation as very jialat (very bad) and give up on trying altogether.
We like to think that there’s no harm to receiving useless treatments. That’s not true. It does change your beliefs about your own condition, and can needlessly delay your recovery.
If you are uncertain on what is helpful, stick to what clinical guidelines recommend—exercise. If you are looking for something to make you feel better fairly immediately, try a heat pack!
Exercise regularly—more if you are currently sedentary, less if you are over-exercising
Regular exercise is good for you. Humans are designed to move since our ancestors days in the great savanna.
The Hadza, a modern group of hunter-gatherers who live in northern Tanzania, who spend 75 minutes a day engaging in vigorous physical activity. World Health Organization’s recommendation of 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week pales in comparison.
So, if you are still living a sedentary lifestyle, you should definitely start moving again. Humans are design to move!
Not sure where to start? Sign up for a class at Pom Pi Pi CrossFit, and we’ll get you sorted.
P. S., if you are living with persistent pain and injury, and exercising significantly more than the recommended 75 minutes per week, we do recommend that you start practising load management. This will mean cutting back your training load (i.e., how much you exercise) in the short term, for the purpose of achieving longer term results!
Don’t chase pain relief!
We often see clients expecting to be pain-free during the early stages of their recovery. This is understandable, but yet a misplaced expectation.
Recovery, for most parts, follow a non-linear improvement. That is, you will likely still continue to have pain for most parts of your recovery. Some days or weeks may be better while other times would be worse. This is normal.
What we look for in good long-term recovery is that you make consistent progress upwards. Progress in this case can come in many aspects including an improve in your function.
If you think about it, this makes sense. If you are physically unable to support your lifestyle. It totally makes sense that you are living in some sort of persistent pain.
In such cases, the first step is then to improve your physical functioning before we can start to see your symptom experience improving (i.e., less pain).
Yes, recovery is no easy feat!
Don’t associate feeling better as recovery
All of us who live with chronic pain would know that we have both good and bad days. Some days your symptoms are more aggravated and you feel terrible. Other days, your symptoms may be better, and you don’t remember having any sort of pain!
This is normal. Most of your symptoms would indeed fluctuate from day to day.
Does that mean your condition is worse on days you feel worse, and better on days you feel better?
This is why feeling better after a chiropractic adjustment doesn’t mean you are actually recovering.
This is also why chiropractors will insist on seeing you for the rest of your life. Remember the maintenance package they tried to sell you?
The truth is feeling better is exactly what it is—feeling better. It doesn’t mean your condition has improved!
Stop doing what doesn’t work for you
You know how you always feel better after you stretch or crack your neck?
Think that’s working out for you?
Why do I say so? Because you are still probably living with some form of persistent pain, and you are not happy about it.
Sometimes, in order to get better, we need to go for a 180-degree change. It doesn’t make sense to do things that only help yourself in the short-term while expecting long-term results!
This is why an evidence-based approach is particularly useful. Through research, we can identify what is more likely to work for you and what’s not likely to work for you.
By consistently choosing to do what works, and refraining from unhelpful behaviour, you are more likely to get long-term results!
Fact check all the content you consume
Just this week, we had an enquiry from someone with neck pain. He is adamant that his neck pain is the result of his poor posture and body imbalances.
When asked if an aesthetic outcome is more important or pain relief is more important, he was firm in that pain relief was more important.
Yet at the same time, he was unwilling to accept that there’s no high quality studies was able to demonstrate that.
When asked what brought him to his beliefs, the internet said so.
To be super clear, we do see that some people achieve posture improvement from their work with us, even though this was not one of our treatment goals.
Similarly, we also see people experiencing some symptom relief with “posture correction”. However, these results are often short-term.
Get evidence-based professional help!
We do live in the information age where everything we ever need can probably be found on the internet.
The problem is that everything that we don’t need is also found on the internet!
This is why it is important to work with someone who’s evidence-based. Without research-backed research, everything is really just baseless opinion and personal experiences!
The problem? What worked for others may not necessarily work for you.
With an evidence-based approach, we are able to look at big data set and determine which are the treatments that are the most effective.
We can do run research to compare treatments against placebo to see if a treatment actually works better than a fake or sham treatment. We can also compare two different treatments against each other to which one is more effective.
All of this is not possible without research.
If you’ve tried tons of treatments and spent thousands of dollars on your recovery to no avail, we highly suggest that you reach out to us about your case. While we do not promise to help everyone, we can let you know what we think about your situation, and if you are a good fit for what we do.
To request for an appointment, complete the form below and we’ll get back to you with information on how to proceed!
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Frustrated by the lack of results-driven and ethical chiropractic clinics in Singapore, Chiropractor Jesse Cai found Square One Active Recovery to deliver meaningful and sustainable pain solutions.
Our goal? To make our own services redundant to you.