Dear Katie: Is It Worth It to Work Through "Bad Pain"?

March 31, 2019

In our “Dear Katie” series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email [email protected] for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I’m an injured ballet student, and my physical therapist and massage therapist are giving me opposite instructions. For example, my physical therapist believes that I should work through
the “bad pain”
and take three different kinds of exercise classes, but my massage therapist tells me that I shouldn’t do anything that causes bad pain and only do one exercise class per week. Who should I listen to?


Dear Rachel,

It’s hard to have different people telling you different things. But my advice is to always take your time when coming back from an injury. As someone once said to me, “It takes longer to rush.” Never, ever push through bad pain. You’ll end up reinjuring yourself or otherwise prolonging the process. As frustrating as it may be, err on the side of caution—which, in this case, means following the advice of your massage therapist.

If you reframe your thinking, the recovery process will be a lot easier psychologically. Think of this recovery period not as a setback, but as a time to rebuild your technique and fix old bad habits.

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