Ever heard of the phrase, “no pain, no gain”? It’s probably the most commonly used phrase in regards to anything even remotely physical.
The old school mentality is to keep pushing forward, and work (or play) through the pain. While that may work in professional sports (to a certain degree), the same can’t be said for your workout routine.
Now, there’s a difference between discomfort and pain. Discomfort is the feeling in your muscles that you haven’t felt in awhile, mostly because you’re working out for the first time, or you’ve changed up either your entire routine, or how you go about a specific exercise. I’m actually experiencing this now in my lower back and triceps, but I’m aware that it’s because I’m made adjustments to shock my muscles to promote growth.
Pain on the other hand…can be a sign of something really wrong. If you feel like you’re not getting any better after a couple of days, or it’s making your daily routine absolutely miserable, by all means see your doctor. In the meantime, you can take some over the counter pain medication (double check to see if it will conflict with any existing medication that you may be taking now). Also, I would avoid working out that body part, and any other exercises that may require that body part to assist.
For example, getting back to my lower back hurting…it’s mostly in my glutes now, which means that I would have needed them during my leg day. For the sake of discussion, if I was only feeling discomfort (which I am now), then I would avoid leg presses and squats, and concentrate on my quads and calves (I could test out my glutes and hams on the hamstring machine with a couple of sets, using light weight). If I was in tremendous pain, I would avoid working out my legs all together, and call my doctor, just to make sure I didn’t pull or tear a muscle.
In conclusion, a little bit of discomfort is normal, and to be expected…but if the pain is too intense, don’t be macho about it…sit this one out!