We’ve all heard the expression “no pain, no gain”. It is a mantra uttered by many athletes from professional to amateur, and suggests that pain is simply a part of an active lifestyle.
While exercise and activity are important in living a healthy productive life, those activities do not have to be accompanied by pain.
In this guide, we’ll gain some insights into preventing pain from interfering with sports activities and to help manage the pain that does occur by learning from Dr. Narinder Grewal. Dr. Grewal is a leader in the field of pain management medicine, and he operates a clinical practice in Southern California.
Finding Time to Exercise
In today’s society, active lives are the norm. We rush to and from work, engage in educational or social activities, and spend time with family and friends. Unfortunately, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for exercise. Short of getting up before dawn or working out after hours, sometimes the only time to exercise is on weekends. This time crunch gives rise to the “weekend warrior” phenomenon, which often means an intense block of training on Saturday and/or Sunday. Packing all that activity into a short period can create a situation where pain manifests itself, causing inflammation and stress on joints, connective tissues, and muscles. And, recovering from all that exercise can take days or weeks, leaving weekend warriors feeling painful and sluggish during the work week. In worst case scenarios, severe damage to the muscles and joints can result, causing chronic pain conditions that may require medical intervention at the hands of a pain management specialist.
Establishing a Daily Exercise Routine
When we exercise on a regular basis, our bodies respond favorably. Over time, we gain cardiovascular fitness, endurance, and strength. Setting up a routine for daily workouts can be difficult, especially with busy lifestyles. However, the payoff is well worth the investment in time.
Dr. Grewal recommends finding a way to incorporate some form of exercise into the daily routine, rather than saving it all up for the weekends and trying to make up for lost workout time. Two-hour blocks of kickboxing or P90X aren’t the only ways to become more fit; low-intensity workouts like yoga, jogging, or plyometrics can provide the same benefits, but with less risk of injury. Consider taking a walk at lunchtime, or riding your bike to and from work if distance and time allow. Some office environments may provide gym equipment for staff use; check with your employer to see if such options are available. There may be other coworkers who feel crunched for workout time, and these coworkers may be interested in starting up a lunchtime exercise “club”. No matter what you do, try to add at least a few minutes of low-intensity activity to each day – setting up and following a daily routine can improve the quality of your life and health immeasurably.
Seeking Help for Workout Injuries
Most of us have experienced the aches and pains a few days after an intense workout. A little pain and soreness often accompanies exercise, especially when we tend to overdo it. While this pain is normal, it can be avoided by ramping up activity levels over time. Pre-exercise stretches and light aerobic activities like jumping rope or running in place can get the muscles and joints warmed up prior to more intense activities. This technique of warming up can reduce sports-related injuries.
No matter how careful we are, there are times when overdoing it or having an injury requires the help of a medical professional. Sharp pains, burning sensations in the joints or muscles, or radiating pain can indicate an injury. If this pain lingers or gets worse, it is a good idea to seek medical help. Your pain management physician can diagnose the underlying causes of the pain, then create a treatment plan that allows you to reduce or eliminate the pain and inflammation. Through a combination of medication and lifestyle modification, physical therapy, and guidance, your pain management provider can help you regain lost mobility, restoring you to an active, healthy lifestyle free of debilitating pain.
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