Should I exercise when I have aches and pains?
The popular “no pain no gain” mantra does not cut it when talking about exercise. Can you just work through the pain? It depends on the type of pain you are experiencing. Muscle soreness or discomfort can occur 24 to 48 hours after exercise, especially if the exercise is high intensity or something new. Rest followed by moderate exercise and stretching is the proper remedy for dealing with this type of pain. However, if the pain or discomfort is not muscular, rest and medical attention is the proper remedy.
Here are some guidelines to follow when determining if you should work through the soreness or if you should stop exercising.
Joint pain or discomfort. Joint pain, especially in the ankle, knee, elbow or wrist should be checked. These joints are not covered by muscles and, therefore, the pain is rarely muscle-related.
Localized pain or discomfort. If the pain occurs at a specific location, it is likely an early indicator of some type of injury.
Persistent pain or discomfort. Any pain that last longer than two weeks or gets worse should always be checked by a doctor.
Swelling. Swelling is a sign of an injury and should never be ignored.
Disruption of normal routine. Pain that interferes with your normal activities should be checked by a doctor.
Pain of any sort should always be taken into consideration before exercising. Some muscle soreness is normal for anyone who exercises. The key for your health is determining if you have muscle soreness or pain.