Muscle pain and body soreness are standard partners of weight training. Pushing muscles to failure through intense exercises can lead to aches and pains that signal progress is being made.
However, there are certain body pains that may be warning signs that something is wrong. If you ignore such warnings, then you could easily end up injured and out of action for a period of time or even permanently. Here are 5 body pains you should pay close attention to if experienced.
Body Pain #1 – Sharp Pain in the Back
A tremendous amount of stress is placed on the spinal column during many weight training exercises. Pay particularly close attention to any back pain when performing heavy weight exercises such as military presses, snatches, and other exercises that require the weight to be brought up high or overhead. If you experience a sharp pain in the back, stop your workout immediately and carefully assess the problem. You may simply need to make an adjustment in your lifting technique, but you really may need to take a break from such exercises for awhile to give your body time to recover. Sharp back pain can be a sign that you have pinched a nerve or have suffered a slipped disc. Since your spinal column supports a great deal of activities, a back injury can severely hinder your weight training program as well as your quality of life. Such a sharp back pain may require that you schedule a visit to your doctor to make sure no permanent damage has occurred.
Body Pain #2 – Sudden Neck Pain
Improper lifting form can also cause neck pain, especially when performing squats. Squats require that you position a great deal of weight on your upper shoulders. Quite often, people place the weight too close to the neck which can cause muscles to seize or blood to be significantly reduced, resulting in pain. Improper positioning of the head during the exercise can also place undue stress on the neck. When squatting a large amount of weight, be sure to position the bar on the meaty area of your shoulders away from the neck. You should also look straight ahead rather than up or down to help keep your head correctly in line with your spine.
Body Pain #3 – Groin Pain or Tenderness
The groin area should be monitored closely when performing lunges, squats, deadlifts and other exercises that require you to hold or carry a lot of weight. Again, should you develop a sudden pain or tightness in the groin, stop the exercise immediately. You may only be experiencing a cramp, but it could also be muscle strain, a pulled muscle or even a rupture. Some muscle soreness and or light pain during and after intense exercises is common and often just a sign of a good strenuous workout. However, reoccurring sharp pain in the groin area during exercise could be a sign that you have damaged a thigh or groin muscle. You may be able to alleviate the discomfort by stretching the area before continuing with the exercise, but if the pain continues or swelling occurs, then you should absolutely stop the workout and consult with your doctor.
Body Pain #4 – Pain in the Ankles
Both weightlifters and marathon runners are susceptible to ankle pain and injury. Weightlifting places a great deal of pressure on the ankle joints which compensate for the extra weight and stress. When weightlifting requires that you pull or press a great deal of weight while standing, be sure to wear proper weightlifting shoes. These shoes don’t have cushioning, which can cause you to shift off balance, and don’t lift on a matt, which can also cause the weight to shift.
If you are a long distance runner, you should wear proper footwear that contains adequate cushioning. Also, avoid running on rough, uneven surfaces and pay attention to any ankle pain that develops. A common problem with marathon runners is that they will push through ankle pain, potentially exacerbating the injury. Strained ligaments or damaged tendons in the ankle can knock a runner out of action for weeks.
Body Pain #5 – Pain in the Shins
Another common running injury is shin splints, which can be quite painful if not immediately dealt with. Shin splints occur when the tibia bone located in the front of the leg experiences prolonged or excessive pressure. If caught early enough, shin pain can be remedied by taking a few days off from your training program. However, if shin pain continues then there might be more extensive damage. If this is the case, visit a sports doctor and let them know how long you have been experiencing the pain as well as the exact location of where the pain occurs. A stress fracture requires extensive treatment and extended recovery time.
Remaining healthy during your sports training or weight training program requires effort on multiple fronts. A nutritious diet will keep your body filled with the elements needed for growth, repair and recovery. Proper exercise technique will help you to avoid overstressing joints, ligaments and muscles. A well-balanced workout program will ensure you don’t over train, and plenty of rest will allow your body to recover from the stresses and pressures of a workout routine. If you develop pain in any area of your body, especially sharp, sudden pains, then stop what you’re doing, analyze the problem, and get addition rest. Always remember to consult a doctor if the problem is persistent and or severe.