It’s a joke as old as the hills.
“Doctor, it hurts when I do this,” the patient says.
The doctor’s reply: “Then don’t do that.”
It turns out, however, what’s good for a laugh isn’t necessarily good for your body, especially if you suffer from chronic pain.
In truth, avoiding the use of a painful body part or limb for a prolonged period can do more harm than good, says Dr. Bert Fichman, a pain management physician at Tidelands Health Pain Management Services at Murrells Inlet.
“The muscles that support your limbs — once they begin to get deconditioned, it changes the way things line up, and that can make things worse,” Dr. Fichman says. “A lot of people find the more active they are, the less pain they’re in.”
People dealing with back pain, for example, can benefit from exercises designed to strengthen their core, which can take some of the strain off their backs, or may find their pain improves with stretching or yoga.