Joplin, MO- "I've had a lot of pains I've worked through on my own, and a lot of pains that over time will go away. It's hard to recognize when there's a lot of good things about exercise." That's according to Freeman Physical Therapist Chris Peters. But he said whether it's working out with friends or simply the health benefits - there are times when the pain means you need to make a change. "If you're working out and it's getting worse as you work out - that's not okay."
Sharp or severe pain is also a sign something is seriously wrong. First, determine if the pain is muscle related which could just be soreness from the workout... or joint related. Added Peterson, "There could be joint damage, be structural damage to some of the cartilage or ligament or a severe amount of inflammation. A lot of swelling, and that needs to have rest."
If you don't think the pain is serious, try changing your workout activity to something with a lower impact. If the issue is inflammation, it could take a few days or even a few weeks to heal. Peterson said, "If you've given it three weeks of rest and you've changed your activity, for instance if you're a runner and you've changed to working in the pool, and you're still having problems, then it's time to get medical attention."