For most active people there comes a time when we have a lingering ache or fatigue that won’t seem to go away. The reasons could be anything from not enough stretching, exercising in cold weather and your muscles are tight, too much too soon, too much intensity in your workouts, lack of sleep, too many days without a day off from exercising, as well as not eating healthy. I have compiled my top 5 questions to ask yourself if what you have is general soreness or something that should require getting looked at by a professional.
- Has the pain been bothering you for 2 weeks?- I use this one myself to gauge whether or not I am just sore from a prior workout or is this the beginning of a real injury. If you have been doing all the right things to prevent this injury from nagging you and it appears to be getting worse after a few weeks then it might be time to get it checked out from a professional.
- Is the pain an 8 or greater on a 1-10 scale? Pain scale’s have been around for many years and can be a great tool to use for deciphering whether you have an injury or general soreness. If the pain scale is 8 or greater it might be time to get that nagging pain checked out!
- Have you had chronic fatigue for several months? Overtraining is a real issue that athletes and everyday exercise enthusiasts face all the time. Sometimes the issue can be from overliving from ALL of life’s stressors, not just exercise stress. If you think you have overtraining syndrome presently, then it might be time to get a simple hormone panel check to rule out anything!
- Do you have limited range of motion that you normally don’t have? A clicking, catching sound is not a normal physiological function of your body. If you find you have a limited range of motion in your shoulders, knee, IT band, etc that is new and is making crunchy sounds then you need to have it checked out. Meniscus tears as well as MCL tears can sneak up on your body and before you know it you are nursing an actual injury so before it is too late go and get yourself checked out!
- Does the pain persist with continued activity? Most of us will head out for a run and naturally feel tight initially and the tightness typically will go away. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel no pain at rest, but as soon as you start exercising you feel pain then thats a problem. Working through the pain is not the answer, so listen to your body and go and get it looked at!