Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

When is it safe and helpful to resume what you love?

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Here’s a solid video answer [7m YouTube video] to one of the most common questions I am asked:

How do I know when to return to work? Or play? Or obsessive athletic over-achievement?

It’s a surprisingly difficult question, but Greg Lehman is a great coach, with some great answers. Here’s his closely related blog post.

Back in the early 2010s, I took a stab at video, and found it quite hard, not my “native language” and technologically exhausting, like running in soft sand. I gave up after making about a half dozen (still out there). If I’d kept at it, I might have produced something like this eventually. Great job by Greg. I feel like he’s making videos so that I don’t have to.

Even though I am often asked this question, I don’t actually have an article that directly answers it. But this one is closest, just more focused on “how much rest,” particularly for repetitive strain injuries: The Art of Rest: The finer points of resting strategy when recovering from injury and chronic pain (hint: it’s a bit trickier than you might think).