Think Beyond the Pain
By Gary Picariello
You would think that by now, in the 2010s, the macho rhetoric of “No Pain, No Gain” would be a thing of the past. True, you need to challenge your muscles and your cardiovascular system in order to experience growth. But ignoring the pain doesn't do anyone any good! In fact, the smart money is on thinking beyond the pain or discomfort. In other words, by taking a minute to spot-check what is causing you to ache you can effectively deal with it and find a cure.
Good Pain vs. Bad
The medical and sports community is tuning in to the fact that some pain is good. A recent paper published in HopkinsMedicine.org points out that normal exertion of the muscle as a result of working out is fine. But your warning lights should flash when the exertion stage of exercise leaves you overly fatigued, lightheaded or exhausted. Comments co-author Edward McFarland, MD: "Fatigue that lasts days means the individual’s physiology has been excessively challenged, and this means that the muscles and the energy stores are not being effectively replenished.”
Hurts so Good?
The muscles, tendons and cartilage bear the brunt of any physical endeavor. A little soreness or discomfort means that your muscles have been stressed; this feeling is normal if you do a new exercise for the first time or if you do a familiar exercise too hard. We've probably all been there depending on the activity: soreness that typically begins within a few hours but peaks one to two days after exercise. The proper medical term is "delayed onset muscle soreness" and can be serious warning signal of muscle damage if it's ignored because you feel the ache and pain are a reflection of progress and growth.
We Shall Overcome
The great thing about the human body is that it knows what works. In the case of workout over-exertion, some common sense steps may prove the most effective: take enough time to recuperate between sets, stay loose and don't give your body the opportunity to tighten up between sets, drink lots of fluids while working out to stay hydrated, take an aspirin/ibuprofen post-workout if you feel the pain coming on, and visit a medical professional if the pain doesn't go away.
Exercise should be a part of your daily/weekly regimen but when the aches start coming you need to think beyond the pain!
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Roswell, Ga.