Injuries can bring unexpected delays to so many parts of our daily lives. We may ask ourselves, “Should I take a day off from normal activities? Do I need rest my leg to avoid further injury? Should I see my chiropractor in Anchorage for advice? Can I head to the gym after work – or should I just play a board game with the kids instead today?”
True exercise is not always ‘pain-free.’ So how do we determine when the pain is okay? A beneficial workout will bring your body to the point of challenge. However, a productive exercise session will not push to the point of undoing the progress made. Rest and exercise go hand in hand quite well. While some level of soreness can help you get stronger, you should not be in pain once your workout is done.
Train or Don’t Train: The Debate Is Real
We may feel as though even one day off will derail many days of hard work. Perhaps, we know that momentum is often lost once we alter from an established routine. The truth is that should we push too hard, we risk long-term injury.
Pain exists as a warning sign that something has happened in the body. This may mean that an injury has occurred and that part (or all) of our body needs rest. Rest works to help us avoid serious injury, as well as the risk of chronic pain injuries. Pain can also act as a gauge to help us determine when it is okay to return to our activities.
How do we determine when it is okay to push through the pain and when we should take it easy? This will obviously depend very much on the type and severity of the injury. Here are a few points to consider when we must decide what to do – or not do – in the wake of an injury:
Review the Cause of Your Injury
Accidents will happen. However, we can easily cause greater damage by quickly interacting with the activity that caused us pain in the first place. Eliminating the cause may seem like a no-brainer. Yet, we often have favorite activities with which we feel we cannot part! Avoiding re-injury is key for long-term recovery.
Questions to Ask Yourself Regarding Possible Medical Care
Should I Take a Pain Reliever During Workouts?
Be aware that pain medications can mask pain and allow us to feel as though we are completely better. This can hinder long-term recovery efforts. Stay mindful that muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments may only be partway to the land of recovery.
What to Do Instead of a Workout
Speed Recovery: Hints to Aid in Healing
After a sprain or strain, any exercise is more about restoring range of motion, staving of stiffness, and rebuilding strength. It is imperative to take things slow. Allow time for your body to catch up to you, your goals, and your lifestyle.
Help your body to realize that you are giving it permission to heal properly. Go slow when it is time to get back to your regular workouts. Remember that exercise is meant to benefit the body – not cause harm.
Dr. Brent Wells has been a trusted chiropractor since moving his family from Oregon to Alaska back in 1998 and founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab – B.S. from Univ. of Nevada, Doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College, volunteer for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Foundation, and member of the American Chiropractic Association. As a chiropractor his focus is on family, including his 3 children and wife of 20+ years, his clinics, and ongoing education.