4 Tips for Exercising with Pain

Unfortunately, some of us get stuck in a cycle of exercising with pain. We do a workout, we hurt, and then we do it all over again. 

Some people may take a few days off then try again. Others will just keep pushing through the pain. Worse yet, some will stop exercising altogether. However, none of these are the best answer.

If any of these apply to you, here a few tips to get out of the rut of exercising with pain. 

1. Recognize and accept what is painful.

This is the simplest, but at times the hardest, thing for people to do when dealing with pain. Pain is a black and white issue; something either hurts or it doesn’t. If I ask you if an exercise hurts, and your answer is “just a little,” then the answer is yes.

Pushing through pain will often lead to more pain and limitation down the road.  Accept this and give yourself time. It will greatly improve your chances to successfully return to what you want to do.

2. Chose exercises and movements that aren’t painful.

Once you’ve realized what is irritating the problem, you’ll also find what doesn’t bother it. These are the movements you will be safe to do without increasing any pain. These exercises should also focus on any deficits that may have led to your issue in the first place.

This is where a good physical therapist helps. We’re trained to recognize and address the strength and mobility deficits that created the problem. To find the source of your pain, request an appointment with a physical therapist at Performance Therapies.

3. Gradually ease back into the exercises that were painful.

So you’re feeling good. You’ve addressed the range of motion, strength and/or bad form issues you were having. You want to get back to running, bench press or whatever you have been limited with.

 Now is a good time to try, but don’t dive right back into the deep end of the pool. Start with shorter runs or lighter weight.  If those go well, then gradually progress the intensity, volume or duration of these exercises.

4. Know and respect your limits.

As a physical therapist, my goal is always to help people do the most they possibly can, safely and without pain. In a perfect world, everybody could eventually do everything. Unfortunately some of us will have problems that will put some limits on us.

An arthritic knee, or hip, or degenerated spine may keep you from doing certain things without pain. They shouldn’t keep you from exercising, being strong and being healthy. It just becomes even more important to make the right exercise choices in cases like these.

If you’re experiencing pain while exercising, don’t wait! Request an appointment to get begin your road to recovery today.

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