Sure, exercise improves your health. Yet, while it typically makes you feel good, exercise sometimes triggers aches, pains and other ailments you shouldn’t ignore. In general, you should always seek medical attention when a symptom has one or more of the following characteristics:
- persists for more than two or three weeks
- gradually gets worse
- interferes with your daily routine
- is unfamiliar and appears suddenly
As you exercise, be alert for the following symptoms and learn how to treat them properly:
Chest pain — If you develop chest pain during physical exertion, stop the activity and contact your physician immediately. A variety of conditions can cause chest pain, including heartburn, pleurisy and angina. Clammy skin, sweating, nausea, weakness and shortness of breath often accompany chest pain due to a heart attack. A heart attack can also cause pain in the jaw, arm, shoulder, neck and upper back.
Side stitches — Exercise can interfere with digestion and cause abdominal bloating, gas, heartburn and nausea, as well as harmless stabbing pains or “stitches” in your side. Try not to eat at least 60 minutes before exercising and drink plenty of water. If you suffer from chronic gastrointestinal distress as a result of exercise, see your doctor.
Calf muscle cramps — If your calves tend to cramp during aerobic activity, you may need to vary your routine and include more low-impact exercise. Also, be sure to stretch your calves. Standing two feet away from a wall, with your hands against the wall, place one leg behind you, keeping it straight with the heel on the floor. Press your hips forward until you feel the stretch in your back leg’s calf. Hold for 30 seconds then repeat with the other leg.
Lightheadedness — Feeling faint can occur during weight training when you strain to lift a weight without exhaling your breath. When you hold your breath, your blood pressure rises and your pulse drops. When you relax as the weights are lowered, your blood pressure drops quickly, causing you to feel faint. Be sure to breathe normally while weight training; never hold your breath.
Achy joints — Whether you’ve incurred an aching, overuse injury to your elbow, shoulder or knee, the treatment is the same: rest, ice, compression (for example, an elastic bandage) and elevation (keep injured area above heart level to help drain excess fluid for one to three days). Be sure to stop the activity that caused the pain until the joint has healed. When you do resume the sport, consider ways to prevent re-injury. If you play tennis, for example, you may need a racket that is more flexible or has a larger grip.
Sharp shoulder pain — You’ve probably torn the muscles of your rotator cuff if you feel a persistent ache or sharp shoulder pain during exercise. Stop performing any activity that causes pain or soreness in that area. Avoid weight-training movements that tend to aggravate the condition, such as bench presses and overhead presses.
Muscle soreness — Dull muscle pain is the normal discomfort you feel after a challenging workout. It goes away with time and consistent use of the muscle. Heat applied for 15 minutes can help reduce muscle spasms. To minimize soreness, make sure you exercise on nonconsecutive days, particularly with weight-bearing activities. Also, always stretch at the end of your workout.
Hand and wrist pain — You may have carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or a ganglion cyst. A fracture or dislocation is also possible, so be sure to consult your physician if the pain persists.
Low back pain — Poor weight training technique can wreak havoc on your back, especially if you are already prone to back problems. Give your back a break by laying off exercises that stress the back, then learn proper form as well as stretches that target the back.
Analgesics may be effective in treating many kinds of pain, such as earaches, pain from arthritis, back pain and pain after surgery. Painkillers are pills that you can buy without a prescription.Both comments and pings are currently closed.