Injuries happen, and an ache or pain that dissipates in a few days is usually nothing to worry about. If it’s lasting for weeks or months, or happens to reoccur, that’s a sign that something isn’t quite right, so it’s time to stop ignoring it! Even if the pain is mild, don’t try to be macho – pain can cause your body to alter it’s mechanics which leads to unnecessary stress on joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons.
These pains are likely due to overuse or a small injury to a tendon or muscle. While taking something like ibuprofen can make you feel right as rain, it doesn’t take care of the problem. Exercising through the masked pain and swelling can leads to chronic inflammation, causing weakness, tissue breakdown, more pain, more swelling and BAM! You’re got yourself a nagging injury.
So what do you do? The first step is to apply heat before exercising, and use RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) after training to help control the pain and swelling. It will help you control the symptoms best without having to slow down too much, but again, it’s not going to fix the problem. It’s time to see the physio, be evaluated and figure out what the issue is so you can say buh-bye to that pain-in-the-whatever.
Instead of quitting exercise because something hurts, your physiotherapist will set you up with a personalized treatment plan, including exercise options that won’t aggravate your injury. The plan will also include advice on how to modify your training techniques so you can keep doing the activities you want, but pain free.
Once your physiotherapist helps make that pain a distant memory, be sure to start ramping up your normal activity slowly. Again, most of these sorts of injuries are due to over training, so getting back at it too hard or too fast will land you right back in injury land!