"I think there is beauty in everything. What 'normal' people perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it."—Alexander McQueen

"I think there is beauty in everything. What 'normal' people perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it."—Alexander McQueen

man doing some stretching

What You Need to Know About Good and Bad Pain for Active People

Living an active lifestyle is trickier than most people expect. It’s not just about sweating, losing weight, and gaining muscle mass. Your overall health is affected by how your treat your entire physiology and push it past its limitations. The sad truth is that many people who engage in exercise programs focus too much on physicality rather than the knowledge necessary to execute them properly. One such knowledge essential in making sure you’re staying safe is the difference between good and bad pain.

Surely, you’re familiar with the various kinds of pains and injuries that come with being active. The question is this: do you know when a certain ache is no longer normal and poses a threat to your health?

Understanding the Basics

Your muscles are regularly experiencing stress, which tears it and triggers that burning feeling. Yet how do you know when it’s a “good” pain that builds you up instead of tearing you down? The first indication is the mildness of the feeling. Good muscle pain is mild and short-lived. It often disappears once the exercise is over and shouldn’t hinder you too much from performing menial tasks.

How about fatigue, though? Feeling tired after a workout is normal, but any excessiveness should be taken seriously. You could feel muscle strains here and there in the coming days, but it’s another story entirely when you’re still feeling overly fatigued. It usually means two things: one is that you pushed your body too hard, and the second is that you’re not properly replenishing the lost energy.

“No pain, no gain” should never be associated with overtraining.

Bad pain results from your muscles, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, and bones failing to adapt to the stress that it experiences. When you perform routines that aren’t suited to your level, they’re forced to react to the stress, often inefficiently. They hadn’t encountered it before and weren’t prepared to meet the demands of the activity. The effort they exude can lead to pains and damages that take longer to mend naturally. This is what you call bad pain. Delayed onset muscle soreness, which is the soreness you feel one or two days after you perform the exercise, can result from overexertion. In worse case scenarios, this leads to permanent muscle damage that needs professional treatment to resolve.

You can avoid bad pain by consulting a fitness coach about the exercises and programs you’re considering. They’re the best people to tell you how to gradually develop the endurance for them instead of risking your health by pushing past the pain all at once.

man lifting weights

Understanding Treatments

Believe it or not, the best treatment is always rest. Cut back on strenuous movement until your muscles are no longer sore and your joints aren’t painful. There’s no guideline on how long your break should be, only that it should suffice to let your body heal as needed.

The good news is that rest doesn’t always equate to lying still in bed for days. You can actively rest by doing low-impact exercises that don’t add stress to body parts that are already hurting. One of the most popular options is swimming. Doing aerobics in the pool is less strenuous but challenging in its own way due to the resistance the water gives. You’ll find yourself still panting afterward and wanting to rest.

Another treatment you should try if you feel you’re suffering from bad pain is icing. There are different ways to go about icing certain body parts. For runners, it’s recommended that you ice soon after cooling down and do so for only fifteen to twenty minutes. Never apply ice directly on your skin, as that might cause its own problems.

When these solutions aren’t enough to make the pain go away, it’s time to move on to professional help. Anybody who lives with an active lifestyle benefits from knowing the hospitals and clinics in their immediate vicinity in Utah. It’s less stressful when you have an idea of where to go, who to ask for, and how much treatments costs. Not all back pain treatment is equal, so you’ll want to get a recommendation from your workout buddies on the reputable ones.

While pain relievers and other over-the-counter prescriptions might alleviate the pain, it’s best to refrain from trying new medications until you hear from a doctor. There’s no telling when self-medicating could aggravate the matter instead of improving it.

Dealing with the Good and the Bad

No matter how careful you are, it’s likely that you could still engage in activities that result in bad pain plaguing you for days. Knowing how to identify one and what treatments are at your disposal will save you from regretful actions and permanent injuries.

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