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Should I Train If I'm In Pain?

Should I Train If I’m In Pain?

Pain serves as a vital warning signal that is inherently unpleasant, acting as a natural protective mechanism. For instance, the discomfort of touching a hot stove or hitting our head on a hard surface instructs us on health and safety. Despite its essential role, pain can be frustrating in the long run as it hinders our enjoyment of activities, especially chronic pain like back pain, hip pain, or plantar fasciitis.

However, it is unclear whether we should halt our training when we experience pain or keep pushing through it. The matter is complex because studies have shown that avoiding pain by being inactive is counterproductive, while overexertion is also not advisable.

Not Doing Enough

If we fail to exercise adequately when our bodies are weakened or recovering, we risk aggravating the situation. Insufficient activity may result in reduced blood flow to painful areas, muscle atrophy, stiffness in the affected areas, and inactivity-related mild depression. These consequences are highly undesirable, particularly when dealing with persistent pains such as knee pain, heel pain, hip pain, or plantar fasciitis.

Doing Too Much

If we exert ourselves excessively, we risk placing undue stress on injured or tender tissues, which can impede the healing process. It is common knowledge that running on a broken leg is unwise, and the same principle applies to back pain, ankle pain, plantar fasciitis, and similar conditions.

Mastering the ability to gauge how much to challenge our pain is a valuable skill which plays a significant role in resolving pain over the long term.

A Golden Nugget

I have a valuable piece of advice that has helped numerous individuals alleviate their uncertainty about how much weight to lift or how far to run.

“As a general rule, if you experience slightly more discomfort during or shortly after exercise, it is usually not a cause for concern. However, suppose your pain significantly intensifies after a particular exercise or movement and lasts more than a day. In that case, it is typically not a positive sign.”

While there may be exceptions to this loose guideline, it can assist in preventing you from encountering issues.

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