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Should You Push Through the Pain?

By Sara Butler

You’ve probably heard the term “no pain, no gain” a million times. But is it really true? Do you need to embrace pain in order to make fitness gains? The answer is simple. There are times when a little discomfort is a good thing and times when it’s not. Here’s what you need to know about what level of pain is acceptable and when you should be alarmed during your workout.


Achiness or soreness is normal during or after a workout. After all, when you’re working out, small tears in your muscles that make you sore will eventually heal and help the muscles to grow and get stronger. This is your body’s natural response and isn’t unusual at all, which makes it a type of pain associated with a workout that is acceptable.

If you experience muscle soreness or tenderness even a few days after you exercise, that’s OK too. In fact, getting to the gym and moving more may even help to alleviate the soreness.


While soreness or achiness is OK, sharp, persistent, or strong pain is not. Pain like this is a signal from your body that something is wrong and if you continue, then the injury may only get worse.

Most injuries during workouts are the result of too much stress on a tendon or muscle. It can happen during a single event or be the culmination of repetitive use. If you experience pain when working out, then it means you’ve put too much strain on the tendon or muscle and need to stop. Don’t suck it up and push through but listen to your body and what it’s trying to tell you.


Inflammation is how your body repairs injuries, so a little inflammation associated with muscle soreness is fine, but you don’t have to grin and bear it. Rest a little, though movement should be encouraged, and treat it with ice as needed. If you find you are downing over-the-counter anti-inflammatories or using ice all the time to treat soreness, then you might want to get checked out by a medical professional to ensure there’s no health issue lurking under the surface you should know about.

If you notice pain, soreness, or weakness that is interrupting your daily activities, and it continues even when at rest or wakes you up at night, then see a medical professional too.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Spring, Tex.

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