Good Versus Bad Pain: How to Recognize Injury and When to Get Help
Sooner or later, many of us decide it would be good to take up jogging to get into shape. But how do we know how whether the discomfort we feel is a sign of more serious injury? Here’s how to recognize good pain from bad.
If you’re suffering from injury or chronic arthritic pain in your knees or hips and would like to discuss Dr. Spiegel’s Joint Pain Relief Program with him, including Physical Therapy for Hip and Knee Joint Rehabilitation, click here or call 727-787-7077.
Read more: Could Jogging Be Causing That Knee or Hip Pain?
It’s very important to know the difference between good pain indicating progress and other pains that could mean you’ve damaged a knee or hip while jogging. Here’s how to tell….
Anyone who’s out of shape and takes up exercise is going to feel a bit out of sorts at first. Let’s face it, when our bodies aren’t used to moving, going from lying around in front of the television to prepping for a 5K race (or even just beginning a modest exercise routine) is bound to make our muscles sore. Thankfully, that kind of pain typically subsides as your body gets used to the increased activity.
Whenever we push ourselves to improve our level of fitness, we can expect a certain amount of muscle discomfort. Actually, that soreness we feel is caused by tiny tears in our muscle that occur as we exercise – especially when just starting out. This sounds awful, but in fact getting those little muscle tears are an important step in the muscles becoming bigger and stronger.
But pain? That’s another beast entirely that you should see as a wake-up sign!
Here are some definite signals that what you feel is more than tiny muscle tears. If you experience any of the following:
- Sharp pains that intensify
- Pain when you put pressure on a joint
- Inability to move a body part
stop exercising right away and seek help
Hip or Knee Strains, Sprains and Shin Splints:
Strains are injuries that involve the tendons, the fibrous tissue that attaches our muscles to our bones. Strains frequently occur when muscles stretch and then suddenly contract, as when we run or jump. Runners are famous for straining their hamstrings – frequently while they are in full stride. If you’ve had a strain you could expect to feel stiffness and tenderness, muscle spasms, weakness and/or the inability to move the joint without pain.
Sprains occur when we overstretch or tear the strong, elastic bands of tissue called ligaments that hold our bones together in their joints. Forcing a joint to go beyond its normal range of motion (when we turn an ankle, for example) could cause overstretching (mild sprain) or tearing (severe sprain). Your symptoms could include pain and swelling – possibly an inability to move the limb that got the injury.
Shin splints result from inflammation caused by repeated trauma. They occur in the front part of the tibia – the big bone in our lower leg. Beginner runners often experience shin splints when running on hard roads and sidewalks. Often the pain begins as a mild ache and then intensifies into a burning pain with every step.
How Should I Deal with My Knee and Hip Injuries?
Your number one job is to rest the afflicted joint. If you don’t, you risk being out of commission for months, not just days. Use cushions to elevate your injured leg or hip. You can use compression bandages and ice packs to keep the swelling and pain down. Apply the ice pack for 30 minutes at a time several times a day. Once your injury feels better, it’s likely safe to resume the jogging. But if your pain doesn’t go away, it’s time to check in with doctor or physical therapist!
If you’re in the Tampa, Saint Pete or Clearwater area and are suffering from a sports related injury or chronic arthritis in your knee joints or hips, our Palm Harbor, Florida Joint Pain Relief Program at Neurological Solutions can end the pain and restore your function. Neurologist Allan Spiegel, M.D. offers personalized assessments to see whether Physical Therapy or other successful treatments could be right for you. To schedule an appointment, call 727-787-7077.