As a physical therapist this is a frequent slogan I run into but it’s poorly understood. I like to explain there are two types of hurts muscle pain and bad pains.
Muscle pain is a good thing and required to build strength. With exercise we microscopically tear muscle fibers, and as they heal themselves we increase muscle strength and mass/definition. With this we get muscle soreness which can be painful, but finding the right amount takes some practice. We have to find the right intensity which is different for each of us. You don’t want to overdo and cause serious injury by tearing a muscle which I’ve done and wouldn’t recommend. However, at the same time you don’t want to do things too lightly as you might not get the results you want or get bored and stop working out altogether.
Bad pains as I like to call them are joint pains while exercising or pushing too far while stretching for example. If while exercising, you push through pains in your knees or shoulders you will likely create lingering discomfort that will increase your likelihood of stopping an exercise regimen or causing more serious injury.
As the weather gets better we all start thinking about hanging out at the pool or beach in our bathing suits, and usually our next thought is “I should really start working out more”. Make sure you pay attention to what types of pain you experience during and after exercise. One will help you get the results you want and the other will cause injury and feeling more self conscious. If you’re not sure working with an experienced physical therapist can be a huge asset to avoid injury and achieve the goals you want.
For more information you may call 541-479-6936 with any questions. We regularly offer free screening to the community for those who do not have insurance or those who have high deductible payments.
Jesse Elliott, DPT Doctor of Physical THerapy with SiskiyouPT Grants Pass, Oregon