A list of the niggling body aches that you must never ignore and the ones you should give time to heal.
Let’s face it. Much as we crib and complain about the aches and pains when we start working out, secretly, there’s nothing we like more. But beware: it doesn’t take long for a niggling ache to turn into a serious injury that will cramp your style while you are running, dancing or playing your favourite sport. Which are the pains you should ignore and which are the ones that scream SOS? Read on:
The awkward landing during your aerobics class left you with a twisted ankle. Though you braved the pain and finished the class, you now have mild to severe sprains in the ligaments on the ankle exterior. Mild sprains can be treated with rest, ice, compression and elevation. If the ankle is just sore, it may be due to tendonitis. Till the pain disappears, avoid weight bearing exercises such as swimming and cycling. However, if you can’t bear to stand up and take weight on the injured ankle, you should see a doctor and get an X-Ray done, it might be a fracture.
Mid-back and upper-back pain
Aslight pain between your shoulder blades while lifting weights could be a sign of bad lifting technique. If your speed is not calculated right, lifting too quickly could also cause a tweak of the spine. Use the correct weight for your strength.
However, if you experience a shooting pain or having difficulty breathing see a doctor immediately. It could be a thoracic herniated disc. In some cases, pain between your shoulder blades may even be a sign of a heart attack.
If, while putting your travel suitcase up on the loft, you felt a snap in your shoulder, you may have strained or injured the rotator cuff muscles. This occurs when the shoulder blade puts pressure on the rotator-cuff muscles. Arthritis or bursitis may also cause the pain. For simple strains use ice and avoiding overhead activities usually resolve the problem.
However, if your shoulder feels as if it’s coming out of the socket or you notice severe swelling, you may have a tear or some other serious injury. Get this checked by a doctor.
A wise man once sang: take care of your knees, you’ll miss them when they are gone. No truer words have ever been sung. A knee pain could be caused by a sudden jerk, or build as a slow ache when you hear a grating sound while doing squats, climbing stairs – basically each time you bend it. Experts say most knee injuries are rarely an emergency. Pain while walking down stairs, for example, is often due to wearing down of the cartilage under the knee cap. Avoiding exercises such as lunges and deep squats will provide some relief.
However, if you hear a sudden ‘pop’ at the time of injury, notice a swelling at the joint, or feel your knee buckling, a visit to a doctor is warranted, as these symptoms indicate a torn ligament or meniscus tear.
Achilles tendon pain
Any high-impact activity can cause pain in the Achilles tendon. This is the largest tendon in the body and connects the calf muscle to the heel. If the pain near your heel is accompanied by swelling and worsens with activity, you may have Achilles tendonitis. Rest, ice, stretches will provide some relief.
However, if the symptoms worsen even with walking, especially uphill, you may have torn your Achilles tendon. See a doctor immediately. Surgery may be required.
It’s natural for those who spend hours glued to the computer to suffer a stiffness in the lower back. If the pain is mild, avoid exercises that make it worse, such as walking uphill, aerobics and overhead shoulder presses. Simple treatments like rest, ice and stretching are often enough.
However, if the pain is accompanied by nerve symptoms such as numbness, tingling down the leg and weakness, you may be suffering from a herniated disc which is exerting pressure on a nerve root. See a doctor immediately.
Some pains can be ignored for a few days. A hip pain is not one of them. Repetitive activity can cause bursitis and pain on the outside of the hip and in the buttocks may be nerve-related or result from a lower-spine condition.
One worrisome symptom with hip pain often occurs in both young and perimenopausal women engaging in longdistance running. Experts say that pain in the groin region, that increases toward the end of a run, could be a sign of a stress fracture, which may require surgery and should be checked by an orthopaedic.