From yesterday’s New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/29/fashion/29FITNESS.html
I had my first visit with my new physician this past week. It was a sign of the times. I have been fortunate enough to have had just one doctor, Richard Kahn, M.D. since moving to Maine in 1973. It has been 36 years of excellent care, from a man who was one of the first in our area to ride his own bicycle bike to work from his home in Union some fifteen miles out. He sold his practice to Dr. Anderson, and she will be fine. She had been practicing way up in Aroostook County for the past two years. She read my chart with me, to be sure she hadn’t missed anything. I was thrilled when she started asking me about my 2007 Appalachian Trail through hike, when she disclosed that she and her husband were avid day hikers and also backpackers. We learned that shared some trail experiences in Yellowstone as well.
She is an osteopathic physician, and after deciding that my blood work did not indicate any serious problems, encouraged me to schedule my next appointment sometime next Fall after I ( hopefully) return from my 5- 6 month, 2,700 mile Pacific Crest Trail backpacking expedition, where we could recheck those numbers.
Then we talked pain, something I have been increasingly familiar with. I consulted about putting together a backup medical kit that would prepare me for any emergencies. I did hear her when she made the observation that pain is often a signal to the body that something is wrong and that stopping may be the best solution, rather than to dose pain with analgesics or stronger ( opiates) and push through to some preset goal.
Then this article came out and it assisted me in placing pain into a better perspective.
Endurance athletics exposes one to eventual pain. It is important to train for the ability to sustain exertional pain, while at the same time accepting that the acute pain of an injury, such as shin splints, a broken metatarsal bone, or a bad back is a message from the body to stop for a while and heal.