We have all heard the phrases, “No pain, no gain,” and “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” They are supposed to make you sound cool or tough that you can handle the pain, like it is supposed to be there. There is a difference between pain and soreness. Having soreness during or after a workout is a good thing. It means you did something and challenged the muscles enough to cause them to recover. Pain during or after the workout is not ok. This is a definite sign from your body telling you that you have to stop what you are doing. It is very rare for it to be beneficial to push through the pain when working out. A lot of times you can be making the situation worse. Lets say you have some sort of inflammation in your shoulder from when you tweaked it last week. Now if you were going to do shoulder presses today and just push through the pain, you can make it worse. This happens because whenever you exercise an area of your body blood gets driven into that area. Whenever blood gets into an area that is inflamed, it drives the inflammatory response, therefore making the situation work. That is why ice is good for inflammation because it draws the blood out of the area. Another common injury is tendinitis, which is simply an inflammation of the tendon. If enough rest is not given to this type of injury you can have a nagging pain for up to a couple months. Then the worse kind of injury would result in having surgery, which I have seen people progress to a couple times. There have been situations where the person was in obvious pain, did not rest the injury and then they ended up really hurting themselves by tearing the muscle. Instead of taking maybe two weeks off to rest the area they ended up being out six months due to the surgery.
In the end, you are not being a hero by working through the pain. If you have injured yourself it is worth it to take a couple days off to try and rest that area. Contrary to popular belief the world will not end if you miss one workout. Be smart, take the rest you need if you are injured, and live to workout another day. In the long run if you make the injury worse it will prevent you from being able to reach your goals, which is the last thing you want. So if it hurts, stop and be smart about it. If you have any questions or comments on the information above please feel free to do so below.