Physical fitness is the cultivation of an attractive and healthy physique that also allows us to the ability to perform a function. However, in the passion for fitness, many people injure themselves while exercising excessively. It is more important to be healthy than to be focused primarilty on fitness.
When a person gets injury to a focal area such as the shoulder or hip while exercising or playing sports, commonly treatment is given only to the focal area. When that localized pain resolves, people will resume their regimen of exercise activities which when excessive can bring forth symptoms to other body parts. If these new symptomatic areas were treated at the stage before they were symptomatic and yet on careful examination showed early signs of injury, the early treatment simultaneously given with the first injury may prevent the later development of widespread chronic pain.
Does localized pain exist at all? What is the functional impact of localized pain compared with that of widespread musculoskeletal pain?
Although epidemiological descriptions indicate that musculoskeletal pain is often widespread, still a lot of musculoskeletal pain is diagnosed and treated as localized pain.
This Norwegian study involving 3179 persons from 24-86 years found that localized pain, in the meaning of single site pain, was relatively rare. Most people having musculoskeletal pain reported pain from a number of sites.
Experiencing single site pain did not have a large impact on physical fitness, feelings, or daily and social activities. Functional problems increased markedly, in an almost linear way with increasing number of pain sites. These findings suggest that musculoskeletal pain usually coexists with pain in other body regions and that the functional consequences are highly dependent on how widespread the pain is. This should have important implications for future research into musculoskeletal pain, and for clinical and social insurance medicine. (Kamaleri Y, Natvig B, Ihlebaek CM, Bruusgaard D: Localized or widespread musculoskeletal pain: Does it matter? Pain. 138(1):41-6, 2008).