Pain is weakness leaving the body, right? In most cases, we’d agree with you. If a workout doesn’t cause some sort of discomfort, the odds are that it’s not challenging your body enough to make any sort of change. Unfortunately, as men, we often overlook workout pain... dismissing them as minor annoyances, when, in fact, it’s the first indication of a potentially much-bigger problem. So don’t ignore these sure-fire warning signs of moderate to severe injury.
How to Know if Workout Pain is serious
If a sprain, twist, or bump doesn’t respond to ice and elevation after a day or two, then the injury is serious enough the body is trying to stabilize the area with extra fluid. You’ll most often see this in the case of ligament or tendon damage, which should be assessed by a medical professional and carefully rehabbed to prevent further damage or weakness.
When you injure an area filled with blood vessels, a bruise is a very normal response. Damaged or broken blood vessels release blood under the skin, which shows as a dark blue or purple mark at the injury site. However, if a bruise seems to get larger with time, rather than smaller, or, if the color of the bruise seems to darken rather than lighten, the workout pain is more extensive than a simple bump. Rest and elevate the area and treat with ice and arnica cream (a homeopathic plant-based cream that aids in the resolution of bruises).
If you’ve never experienced electrical pain, consider yourself lucky. The pain feels exactly like someone has hooked up a body part to a car battery and turned up the juice. It will be a stinging, prickly, jarring pain that often shoots from one part of the body to another. The presence of this type of pain is indicative of nerve damage, which can be caused by any number of injuries.
Sometimes workout pain will resolve on its own with rest. Other times, it may need to be evaluated by a medical professional. In any case, it's important to be in touch with your body and if something feels out of place for too long pay attention.