3 Signs You Shouldn't Push Through the Pain

Something a little different today. If you haven’t already met her, allow me to introduce you to our guest poster for todayAlisa Johnson, who brings us a timely (for me) post about distinguishing our normal whiny complaints from what might possibly be real problems. Without further ado, y’all say ‘hey’ to Alisa...

3 Signs That You Shouldn’t Push through the Pain

Working out and staying in shape can be challenging. It takes focus to eat right and discipline to force yourself into the gym on a regular basis. But just because the old saying is ‘no pain, no gain,’ doesn’t mean that all pain equals gain. In certain scenarios that pain may be a red light indicating that you need to pay attention to your body before you go past exercise and into injury.

What’s the real difference?

So how do you tell when pain stops being productive and starts being dangerous? As you might expect, there is no black and white answer to this question. What challenges one person can seriously hurt the next, and in today’s fitness environment missing the warning signs can be easy if you’re not looking out for them. The most important thing you can do is to stay in touch with your own body. No one knows what you are capable of better than you do; recognize that fact and keep it in the front of your focus as you train.

1. The Thrill is Gone.
The key to a rewarding exercise program is keeping yourself engaged. The best way to stay motivated is to enjoy working out. If you absolutely dread having to do a specific exercise or movement, that may be an indicator that it could be more than simply unpleasant for you. It could mean you are doing damage to your body. If you’re not sure follow the number one rule: when in doubt, get it checked out by a pro.

2. Listen to your body.
Listen in the literal sense. Many times problems associated with the movements of joints can begin without any physical pain. This means that if you can catch them before the pain starts you may have a better chance at correcting the problem before it leads to a true injury.

Often times the tissue connecting the joint can begin to develop popping or even squeaking sounds when certain movements are made. Focus on your body when you exercise and if you ever hear something funny, seek the advice of a professional.

3. When pain is no longer pleasure.
Many times athletes who work out frequently, describe the ‘pain’ that is associated with those workouts as pleasurable. As you begin to push your body in an effort to encourage growth you will notice a certain strain that is put on your muscles, joints and bones. Pay attention to the kind of pain you experience.

There is no diagram or chart that will direct you to an exact description of what ‘negative pain’ feels like, but you will know it when it happens to you if you are being aware.

It may help to think of ‘positive pain’ as a nice long stretch or yawn that slowly develops or spreads throughout the area that you are working out. On the converse, ‘negative pain’ will often be sudden and sharp, though it can also stem from the ‘positive pain’ previously described. Over exercising a muscle in a positive way can often lead to injury, so pay attention to the duration and stress you are putting on your body.

The bottom line.
The bottom line is listening to what your gut tells you. If you feel strange or certainly if you feel pain that you are questioning, seek the advice of a professional and prevent any long-term problems.

This post was contributed by Alisa Johnson, who writes about online nursing degrees. She welcomes your feedback at Alisa.Johnson1982 at gmail.com

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Thank you, Alisa! I may be scheduling an appointment with my doctor. Just as soon as my cobra kicks in. :)