How much pain should you put up with when exercising?
People frequently come into the clinic with pain caused by exercising. Some people come in as soon as they feel pain, while others put up with pain for months before seeking help. This article should help you work out whether you should stop exercising and/or seek treatment.
Exercise varies for us all, for some, a walk around the block is your regular exercise, while for others it might be 100km on a bike, or a solid hour in the gym with heavy weights. It doesn't matter what your baseline for exercise is, you should be aware of your body's response to it. For most of us, mild exercise such as walking shouldn't cause any pain, while an intense running or weight training session might leave anybody with a little pain, as part of the normal physiological response to the workout.
Be wary of any new pain or discomfort. If you feel intense pain or pain that lasts for more than two days you should come and see us for some advice.
When to Take Action
Sharp sudden pain that continues more than 48 hours, especially if it was caused by excessive strain
Pain accompanied by loss of mobility or swelling
Pain that continues for more than 30 minutes after exercising
Pain that occurs every time you exercise, or every time you exercise in a particular way
Exercise-induced pain that occurs over a period of time, weeks or months
The first strategy is to reduce your exercise program, if the pain is a regular part of your experience. Try cutting the volume and dosage to 50% and see if you can exercise without pain. If the pain persists, you most likely have an injury and you should come in for a diagnosis`.
If you regularly do different types of exercise and one aspect gives you pain, just drop that part of your program for a few weeks.
If your pain is increasing, you need to act quickly.
Reducing the Risk
One common cause of injury is taking on new exercise with too much enthusiasm. It's very tempting to get into any new program with passion, but this frequently brings a newly born fitness enthusiast undone. The same thing applies if you take a break. Most of us, however keen we are on our fitness, take a break from time to time. This could be for a holiday, another injury, or just because life got in the way. Remember that for the first week you need to take it easy, or run the risk of getting injured.
Even the exercises we prescribe for rehabilitation can sometimes cause pain. If this happens, please give us a call straight away and stop the exercise. Sometimes pain is acceptable, but your therapist should tell you what a safe level of pain is.
Finally, if you only exercise once per week, you are probably not doing enough to keep your body fit enough to keep safe in the sport. Try to get in at least two sessions per week to keep your fitness level up.
As always, if you have an issue, or a question, please give us a call
"Living a healthy lifestyle will only deprive you of poor health, lethargy, and fat."
~ Jill Johnson
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