“Too often people don’t distinguish between the discomfort that comes from fatigue and the feeling of pain.” – Bryce Hastings, Physiotherapist and Les Mills Head of Research
No pain, no gain.
We’ve all heard it. And many of us may have subscribed to it. But as well-intentioned as this little nugget of workout pseudo-wisdom may be, it misses a crucial point.
Pain and soreness are not quite the same thing. And acute or chronic pain associated with any exercise or workout routine or regimen is a red flag, not a badge of honor.
Pain After a Workout? What’s the Big Deal?
As we noted, part of the problem is distinguishing between the normal soreness that can and often does come about during strenuous exercise or intense workouts, and pain. Another part of the problem is that many people engage in high-impact activities that can contribute to pain that is not intended.
What are “high-impact” exercises or activities?
Typically, high-impact exercises are movements that place a high degree of impact on your joints. High-impact exercises often require a significant amount of jumping and jolting movements.
Or as one source points out,
“High-impact exercise is typically described as an (often aerobic) activity where both feet leave the ground at the same time. Often, high-impact activities may include exercise classes which involve jumping, leaping, or jogging in place.”
Even something as seemingly benign and “normal” as running or jogging can become a high-impact activity when the course is concrete or asphalt. According to a women’s running magazine, the sheer (repeated) force at which your feet strike concrete or asphalt can cause shin splints and stress fractures.
The alternative to so-called “high-impact” exercises and workout regimens is to stick with what is known as “low-impact” exercise.
Low-Impact Can Still Provide High Performance Results
Research has shown that there are multitudes of low-impact options for those who want to gain muscle strength, mass, bone density, endurance, and cardio fitness. And the biggest benefit is the elimination of movements and actions that can cause unnecessary pain and often avoidable injury.
One expert was quoted as saying that,
“Not only does low-impact exercise come with the benefits of improved strength, lower blood pressure and reduced stress, but such a workout also cuts down on the risk of musculoskeletal injury.”
While low-impact exercise and workouts are beneficial for anyone of any age, they have the added benefit of being even more conducive to the needs of older participants, especially the elderly.
As one blog article shared that,
“[A]ccording to NHS Choices, low impact exercise can be just as beneficial to heart health as high impact activities. These types of exercise might be particularly suitable for older persons, those who are recovering from an injury, or those who have not taken part in exercise activities for a while.”
And one more thought to underscore this contention that low-impact is a better alternative,
“Low-impact strength training may be better because it ‘helps you to build muscle endurance and strength without putting stress on the joints,’ says Erin Palinski-Wade, CPT, RD, and author of Belly Fat Diet for Dummies.”
Low-impact workouts and activities are those that require you to leave at least one foot off the ground. Examples of low-impact exercises and activities include:
In addition, cardio workouts using equipment such as an elliptical or anything that do not place a direct force on the body, are considered “low-impact.”
But What About the Workout-Related Pain I Have Now?
Perhaps you’ve been working out for a while, and you’ve always believed that if there was no pain during and after your workouts that you hadn’t done enough or worked “hard enough.” If that describes you, you should know that you’re not alone.
We have a prominent workout and fitness subculture in our country that tends to exalt the sensation of pain as the hallmark of a “good workout” and this can easily lead to injuries that can become chronically painful or even crippling.
Common issues such as pulled or strained muscles, sprained ankles or knees, shoulder or back injuries, tendinitis, and other soft-tissue injuries, occur all the time.
And they can cause chronic or recurring pain if not treated properly and avoided in the future.
Unfortunately, too many who suffer from the pain of these types of injuries and dysfunctions either ignore them and strive to “tough it out” or fall victim to a series of OTC medication regimens, heat and ice, and all the other home remedies that are offered.
Not to mention the tragic few who slip into opioid use and abuse as a result of chronic pain “treatments.”
The good news is that there is a far superior approach to relieving pain and improving performance.
Becoming Pain-Free with Pain and Performance Solutions
The good news is that, with the proper treatment, you can not only recover from your pain but can become pain-free.
Your first step towards making that happen is to make an appointment with us here at Pain and Performance Solutions and let us get to know you and your current pain issues.
During your initial appointment, we’ll work with you to learn about your present pain issues as well as any history of pain. After a full examination, we will then be able to determine the best type of treatment needed to help you on your way to recovery.
Chronic or recurring pain relief through the use of proven therapies such as Active Release Techniques® and Proprioceptive – Deep Tendon Reflex® can only begin once we understand where your pain started.
Restoring your body’s normal function and movement is the only way to achieve total recovery and to do that, your trust in us and your openness is key. So, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any questions that you may have.