Workouts Reduce Pain and Keep Injuries Functional

Please read this article first:

In the above article, the author mentions that he tore the ACL. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament is paired with the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL), and the Medial and Lateral Colateral Ligament (MCL and LCL) to form the 4 sides of a box. The ACL and PCL prevent the thigh bone from sliding off the shin bone in a forward or backward direction, and the MCL / LCL prevent unwanted side to side movements. When one of those four ligaments becomes damaged or torn, the overall stability of the joint begins to fail; further injury could result.

He also mentions that he could control his pain through having strong muscles.

There are three things that comprise a joint: shape, ligament and muscle. Some joints are designed for high stability and low movement, while others are designed for high movement and low stability. Some joints are designed for one degree of movement – like the elbow – and others are designed for almost total freedom, like the shoulder. The shape of the joint is the key to understanding what a joint would be used for. In the knee, the joint is designed for bending and straightening, with a little bit of twisting. When the knee is straight, the ligaments are very tight and prevent twisting from happening. Likewise, when the knee is bent, the ligaments have some slack and a small amount of twisting is allowed. Ligaments work like tie-downs, bungee cords, or straps that limit movements in positions or directions that might damage the joint – they define the allowable limits. Muscles provide movement and control. The muscles you use to climb stairs are the same as the ones used to moderate your descent.

Muscles could be the most important of the three joint factors, as they are the only one that we have control over. Just as the knee has paired ligaments, muscles are also in pairs. The opposing muscles need to have similar strength, or the stronger of the two will alter the dynamics of the joint. A great example for the knee is called Patellafemoral Syndrome. It is when the four muscles of the quadriceps are imbalanced and the knee cap rubs against one side of the femur. Initially, the person might notice some odd cracking or popping noises, later progressing to pain with movement. In the example of torn ligaments, keeping the muscles balanced will help increase joint stability, hopefully avoiding more injuries.

Another facet to pain relating to workouts is a chemical type called Enorphin. Essentially, under certain conditions the brain will produce endorphins, which reduce the sensation of pain. Here’s an article written by a runner, on exercise and the release of endorphins.