The expression says, “no pain, no gain” but when it comes to exercise – especially for those over the age of 40 – New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer says it’s important to understand the difference between good pain from muscles growing and strengthening vs. the bad pain of a possible injury. And it’s very important to know the difference between the two types.
The most common type of good pain is clinically referred to as “delayed onset muscle soreness,” or DOMS for short. One to two days after exercising, soreness will be felt in the belly of the muscle. It can be tender to touch and tends to be spread out over a large area. With this type of soreness the muscles actually become stronger and more efficient.
Bad pain comes in many forms; the most common type of bad pain seen by your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon involves joint pain. When pain occurs in a joint, like the knee, rather than in muscle, it is the body trying to tell us that something is not right.
Don’t try to work through joint pain while working out. If it occurs each time you exercise you should have it checked out by your orthopedic surgeon. If your pain is sudden and sharp, stop whatever you are doing and have it assessed.
Another type of pain that should be brought to the attention of your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon is pain that shoots from one area to another and may be spinal in origin. Pressure or trauma to the nerve roots as they exit the spinal column tends to be manifested in this way.
Here’s some more signs of bad pain:
- Sudden, sharp joint pain in the knees, shoulders, etc.;
- Shooting pain that travels down arms and legs;
- Pain along with weakness;
- Pain that hasn’t subsided after two weeks of ibuprofen and rest;
- Night pain that lasts more than a few days.
It’s always a good idea to be assessed by your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon if pain is recurrent, or if you cannot decide if the pain you are experiencing is “good” or “bad.” Pain can very often be brought under control and even eliminated with proper care.
Pain is the body’s warning signal that injury is occurring or about to occur so it should never be ignored. It is important to become familiar with identifying the good pain associated with muscle growth and strengthening or healthy stretching and differentiating this sensation from a bad pain.