In sports, if a player gets “banged up”, the coach may ask that player whether they are hurt or injured. Hurt meaning they could play through the pain, and injured meaning he/she required more medical attention before returning to the game.
Similarly, those of us who have exercised for months, years, decades have experienced some sort pain (getting hurt) or an injury. The event could be from chronic overuse, ailments such as tendinitis and bursitis, or an acute injury such as dropping a weight on your foot or tearing a muscle. Clearly, the latter situation will require advanced medical treatment, but what does one do for the smaller aches and pains; the ones that can limit or even derail ones fitness pursuits. ***Just because one body part hurts, that does not mean one cannot train around that part. While it is OK to take time to get over the initial pain/injury, a sprained ankle or sore elbow, for example, is no excuse to stop exercising all together.
RICE…Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. For any inflammation or swelling. Ice 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, 2-3 times/day for the first 2-3 days. Then alternate ice and heat as needed. The amount of rest taken (time off from training that specific body part) will vary dependent on the amount of pain. IF THE PAIN PERSISTS, SEE YOUR DOCTOR!
FOODS…such as TURMERIC, GARLIC, CINNAMON, and GINGER act as a natural anti-inflammatory. Protein (amino acids) and Omega-3 fatty acids help aid and speed up the recovery process. These are not readily made in the body so they must be ingested for the benefits.
MEDICAL OPTIONS…such as OTC anti-inflammatories or cortisone shots may be suggested by your physician. Based on the pain, physical therapy may also be an option.
TRIAL AND ERROR…try different exercises; see what hurts and what does not. Something as simple as changing hand position, for example, can completely change the feel of the exercise.
SEE YOUR DOCTOR…while many soft-tissue injuries can repair themselves over time, they can also be a reoccurring issue if not dealt with properly. One of the most frustrating things is to finally “feel” healthy only to find the same pain reoccurring down the road. Use your best judgement and a pain scale; from 1-10 how badly does it hurt?
While injuries do happen, most of what the pain one deals with from exercise is merely being hurt. These issues may take time to heal, but they are also no excuse to quit exercising. Listen to and take care of your body, take the steps listed above to heal if you experience pain, and work around the issue as necessary.