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Is Pushing Through Pain Worth the Risk?

health wellness Feb 14, 2023

How We can Learn from Patrick Mahomes on the Importance of Employee Health in the Workplace

The topic of pushing through pain is a highly debated one, with both pros and cons to consider. On one hand, pushing through pain can demonstrate strength of character and determination, but on the other hand, it can lead to further injury, longer recovery times, and permanent damage. This raises the question of whether or not it is worth the risk.

We just witnessed a high-profile example of pushing through pain with Patrick Mahomes and the Super Bowl. Despite injuring his ankle the previous week and again early in the big game, Mahomes continued to play and ultimately led his team to victory. This impressive feat highlights the value of a strong, youthful body but also the athletic training team that supports him. Mahomes has publicly praised his team of physical therapists and athletic trainers for helping him recover and for allowing him to continue playing at a high level.  Being an athlete at this level comes with the huge perk of having an entourage of support.

In the working world, blue collar workers are often referred to as Industrial Athletes. The thing is, these "athletes" don't get an offseason.  They don't have a human performance team for regular massage therapy, strength training or nutrition programming yet they put in the work day in and day out to provide for themselves and their family.  Some companies recognize the value of investing in their hard working and skilled employees with ergonomic education and mediocre wellness initiatives. Can you imagine if a construction company provided a team of health and fitness professionals for their Industrial Athletes? Decreased injuries and long-term health consequences, improved morale, and increased productivity would be more common.  Companies that invest in employee health and well-being can be confident that their workers are able to perform at their best and continue to contribute to the company's success.

On the other hand, let's consider the situation of maybe a construction worker with an aching lower back. Pushing through pain is often seen as a necessary part of the job in manual labor, but this mentality can lead to long-term physical damage and decreased quality of life. It is important for these workers to prioritize their health, take breaks, and seek attention early to prevent injury. It's even more important for the company to support it. Putting productivity over personal health is a gamble with multiple risks.

Whether or not pushing through pain is worth the risk in sport depends on the specific situation. In high-stakes situations like the Super Bowl, having access to quality medical care and support can make all the difference. In the workplace, investing in employee health and well-being by at the very least providing access to a physical health professional can lead to increased job satisfaction, lower turnover rates, and a positive company culture. 

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