Help! I have pain! What do I do?

There’s a saying I’ve heard for years among fitness fanatics, and that’s “No pain, no gain.”

First of all, there are two different types of pain:

  1. Muscle soreness caused by new workouts. This is normal, I promise! The WORST thing you can do when starting a new workout is to stop exercising due to this. Drink more water, stretch, do yoga, use foam or rumble rollers, but do NOT stop exercising. Muscle soreness in the beginning is to be expected, I’m afraid. There are various things you can do in order to minimize it, and Sparkpeople has an excellent article on this which I won’t regurgitate here.
  2. Strains, sprains, or injury caused by inadequate conditioning, bad form, or some other accident that your body was not prepared to deal with in the process of exercising. A common one I hear is pain surrounding joints such as knees. If you find that a joint is unable to move in a normal way and/or is swollen, do NOT continue to “tough it out”, go directly to a doctor, do not pass “Go”, do not collect $200.

There’s the type of pain which is soreness, and then there’s other types of pain. Anything that produces a sharp pain

If you find that anything is swollen, the best thing to do is to ice it indirectly (wrap the ice in a towel or a thin piece of cloth) and lay off from doing anything that makes the affected area uncomfortable. Yes, I’m afraid that means not exercising. If it’s lower body affected such as knees, ankles, etc, you can probably do sitting exercises involving upper body in the meantime. HOWEVER…I would hold off on absolutely anything without getting the clear green light from your physician.

Injuries are annoying and frustrating to us because we see them as setbacks. We want to continue our fitness goals and this gets in the way! However, the longer you put off handling a potential injury, the more likely it can turn into something serious enough to take you out of the game even longer. You don’t want that to happen, trust me!


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