We’ve all heard the age old mantra; ‘no pain, no gain,’ but is it really one we aim to live by? We often apply this notion to exercise to get the most out of workouts and training sessions.
However, pain is not always positive. It can often be a warning sign that you shouldn’t ignore.
In some cases, pain can be a red flag. Here are some tips to help you differentiate between positive and negative signs, and cope with pain.
Spotting the difference: when is pain beneficial?
There are many different types of pain. Sometimes in order to succeed, you need to get to the point where your body feels uncomfortable.
This means that you’re pushing yourself as you’re going to improve with time. If you feel achy after a workout or your muscles are burning while you’re holding that stretch, this is a good sign that your body is responding to the pressure you’re putting on it.
However, there’s a fine line between positive and negative pain, and it’s essential to be able to spot the difference. If you’re working out, you don’t want any sudden pains or chronic discomfort.
Acute pain may be associated with injuries, such as pulled muscles while long-term pain may be a sign of overuse injuries, inflammation or a previous injury that hasn’t healed properly.
After you’ve finished a session, you should find that pain subsides fairly quickly. If it doesn’t, this may indicate that you’ve sustained an injury.
What to do if you’re in pain
If you’re in pain while you’re working out, and it doesn’t feel like the normal discomfort you experience when you’re pushing yourself on the treadmill or trying to hold your body in plank position, stop, and take a break.
If you experience a sudden onset of pain, don’t try and soldier on. Likewise, if you keep getting pains in the same area, take some time out. It’s also a good idea to seek advice from your personal trainer in addition to seeing a doctor.
If you have specific pains and you’re worried, you can also do some research online. Make sure you search for sites and articles by healthcare professionals. If you’re looking for information about pelvic pain, for example, you can read from N2 Therapy.
When you see a doctor or a physical therapist, and they advise you to take time out from your workout schedule, follow their advice.
If you try and do too much too soon, you can make the injury worse. You may also be advised to elevate the affected limb and apply ice packs. Ice helps to ease pain and reduce swelling.
If you’re starting an exercise regime, or you’re trying to build up your strength and fitness, there’s always an element of discomfort involved.
You have to put your body through its paces to get something out of the session. However, pain is not always a good thing. It can be a sign of injury, and there’s a limit to how far you can push yourself.
It’s important to know your limits and to seek advice if you think you may have an injury.