You’ve heard the phrase “No pain, no gain.” But if you’re using it as part of your training strategy, you could be setting yourself up for disaster.
It’s completely normal to feel the burn when pushing your limits during training or exercise. But that idea also causes confusion when you sustain an injury. Worse yet, pushing through the pain can lead to a more advanced injury that leaves you sitting on the sidelines with the risk of long-term problems.
Our team at Glaser Pain Relief Center offers comprehensive care for sports injuries in the greater Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley area. While we can provide the expert care you need to get you back in the game again, we’d rather keep you in peak condition so you never have to miss a moment.
Whether you’re a pro athlete or weekend warrior, here’s when you shouldn’t push through a sports injury. In many cases, the most obvious cue involves pain.
Recognizing “good” pain
Generally speaking, it’s completely normal to experience some minor aching or soreness after a workout or activity. Sometimes, it can even take a few days for this type of muscle soreness to set in. However, it’s still normal.
This discomfort indicates that you put stress on your body, either through weight-bearing or cardiovascular activity. Why? Because your muscles or tendons experienced microtears or mild inflammation from your efforts.
When you have “good” pain, it’s usually minor and eases with rest or light physical activity. However, you should avoid strenuous exercise while your muscles and tendons heal.
When pain turns bad
Unlike “good” pain, “bad” pain is impossible to miss. These sensations often come on strong, sharp, and persistent — and if they begin during your exercise or activity, you should stop immediately.
You shouldn’t experience pain unless it’s minor muscle soreness after your workout. “Bad” pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. It occurs when you put too much stress on a tendon, ligament, muscle, joint, or bone.
While it’s tempting to think you should push through this symptom, that’s often a surefire way to make things worse. Symptoms you should never train through include:
- Sharp, sudden pain
- Acute pain that interferes with movement
- Pain at a former injury site
- Pain with swelling, deformity, bruising, or pressure
- Constant or worsening pain
- Pain that disrupts your sleep
- Pain with nausea, vomiting, fever, or chills
Never push through a sports injury that doesn’t respond to rest, ice, or over-the-counter medication.
When to see an expert
In many cases, a minor sports injury should improve within a few days with home care like rest and ice. If you notice a response to these therapies, you can usually try some gentle movement to see if the pain returns. However, don’t rush back to your full training program immediately, or you risk re-injury.
When you have persistent pain that doesn’t respond to at-home treatments, noticeable weakness, swelling, discomfort at rest, or deformity, you need to see an expert.
Our Glaser Pain Relief Center team has on-site diagnostic tools to evaluate sports injuries. A prompt and accurate diagnosis ensures you can get the personalized treatment you need to avoid permanent damage.
Common treatments for sports injuries include:
- Cortisone injections
- Trigger point injections
- Nerve blocks
- Stem cell therapy
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
- Radiofrequency ablation
We also offer injury prevention strategies and tips to improve athletic performance.
Do you have a sports injury? Contact Glaser Pain Relief Center and learn more about our sports medicine services by calling 818-501-7246 to schedule a consultation in Encino, California, today.