Pain While Working Out? 3 Tips To Make Sure It’s OK

Chloe going into hip flexion with high knee walks for her injury recovery plan

Today, we’re diving into a topic that’s probably crossed the minds of many of us at some point: Should you hit the brakes on your fitness routine when pain starts creeping in? 🤔 Let’s tackle 3 ways you can decipher what you should do if you’re experiencing pain while working out.

#1: Is the Pain Getting Worse?

First things first, listen to your body! A little soreness after a challenging workout is totally normal.  If that discomfort starts to escalate into real pain, it’s time to take notice. Pain while working out that’s getting worse can be a red flag. It might be your body’s way of saying, “Hey, let’s cool it for a bit.”  If the pain is a flash in the pan and subsides or doesn’t escalate, chances are you’re OK to keep going.

Think of it like a car engine. If you hear a strange noise, you wouldn’t just keep driving, right? You’d pop the hood, check things out, and maybe even take it to the mechanic. The same applies to your body. If the pain is intensifying, consider giving it some TLC. 

#2: Correcting Your Form

You might be thinking… Can correcting your form really make the pain lessen and even go away? Sometimes, absolutely!

Dr. John doing the inline lunge test for pain while working out
Learn About Correcting Your Lower Body Form with the Inline Lunge Test

Proper form is key to preventing many workout-related injuries.  Adjusting your posture, technique, or even just the angle of your movements can do wonders.  The reason is changing the angle on your joints and muscles will impact the stress and the force you’re putting on them too.  Things like making sure your feet are properly spaced, your knees are going the right direction, your shoulder heads are in the proper position.  Even something as small as pressing through your toes instead of driving through your heel during an exercise can make a difference!  If the pain lessens, you’re probably on the right track!

But remember, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Sometimes, pain while working out might persist even with perfect form. In that case, don’t lose hope. It leads us to our next point!

#3: Modify Your Exercise

If you’re still having pain after making sure you’re moving properly, it may be time to take a step back.  That doesn’t mean throw in the towel!  Instead try doing a lesser version of what you’re working on.  This can help you strengthen proper moving patterns and keep yourself strong.  After a short period of time you should be ready and able to get back to your full workout or movement without too much regression.

Looking for proper technique or variations?  Check out our YouTube Library of Exercises!  It’s always growing so you can too!

#4 - None of the Above

So, you’ve scaled back your workout, opted for a modified or less intense version, corrected your form, but the pain is still there.  If you haven’t already, at this point we highly recommend seeking care from a trusted professional (like us!) to help you navigate what might be going on.  

Remember, your fitness journey should be enjoyable, not painful. It’s perfectly normal to have setbacks. Our daily lives and activities set us up for asymmetries and imbalances that lead to these kinds of issues.  Make sure you take preventative measures to keep yourself strong

Chloe doing snapping hip syndrome exercises for her calf injury treatment and pain while working out

These preventative measures include doing single sided exercises, mobility and recovery work, and of course primers to set yourself straight.  Have we mentioned that we have a program for that?  Check it out here!

What NOT To Do

There are 2 things that come to mind as being the worst things you can do.  Stopping what you’re doing entirely and pushing through worsening pain.  In most scenarios, taking a few weeks off without doing anything to correct why the pain was there is not going to help you get better.  In this office we have a saying; “doing nothing does nothing”.  The issue isn’t going to magically go away.  Eventually it will come back and you’ll still have to figure out what’s going on, so why not be proactive!

Pushing through pain that is getting worse is not a good idea.  Couple that with some swelling… definitely not the best.  If the pain is worsening make sure you stop!  No pain no gain is not always the best saying in this case.  You need to know that the pain you’re dealing with is OK.    

In conclusion, make sure you’re listening to your body and giving it what it needs to succeed!  If you suffer from a little twang, no stress!  If it starts escalating and getting worse, it’s probably time to reassess your form, maybe even take a step back, and get checked out.  No matter what, just stopping is not going to help!  If you have questions, schedule an appointment with us or give us a shout out on social media! 

Is Back to School Messing With Your Routine?

Let’s be real.  Your time is precious.  Between running around to school, practices, and making dinner, you barely have time to get to the gym.  What if I told you, you could get all the mobility work you need in just 10-15 mins a day. You don’t need to be spending hours on the mat doing stretches.  Short consistent work is going to get you better results!  Sign up for MDFit Mobility.  This full body mobility program will keep you feeling good day in and day out!  Start your free trial now!  

improving spine mobility

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