“Should I push through that pain?”
We often get asked this question by our patients. It’s a question that often results in conflicting advice. Here’s our thoughts:
- First determine if you are sore or experiencing pain.
When you have a feeling of soreness or achiness, it’s usually the result of mild inflammation and microscopic muscle breakdown. This is your body’s natural response when your muscles experience work—such as when you’re starting a new exercise or returning to an exercise you haven’t done in a while. This breakdown will then stimulate a strengthening response, which is a good thing! This type of soreness usually only lasts 2-3 days and is harmless.
- Sharp, strong or persistent pain is different
Strong, sharp or persistent pain that develops while you are exercising is a different matter. Pain usually represents injury and can occur when too much stress is placed on a muscle or tendon. It can happen as a result of overuse (repetitive training) or a single incident (i.e. too much weightlifting). This is the type of pain you should listen to and stop as your body is talking to you!
So…what should you do if you experience pain? If soreness or pain is affecting your daily activities, persists for several weeks, or continues when you are resting or sleeping, it’s best to contact a Physical Therapist to discuss it. They will be able to guide you back to a pain-free lifestyle!