From Illness to Injury, When to Stop Working Out

May 27, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- With all the messages about the importance of regular exercise, few pointers are given on when not to continue with your regimen. But it’s just as important to know when to alter or stop your workout because of illness or injury.

Rose Smith, UC associate professor of rehabilitation sciences, says any acute injury should put an end to your immediately. That includes any breaks or hearing a "pop” with pain during a workout.

"If you can’t walk, or can’t walk normally, you should see a doctor,” says Smith. "Don’t try to ‘work through’ pain. Pain is an indicator that something may be wrong.”

Pain during a normal routine can also signal an overuse injury, like a stress fracture or tendon , says Smith. It’s especially counter-productive to push through the pain on these injuries. Address pain early and you will be off your routine for a shorter period of time.

While recuperating from an overuse injury or low-grade sprain, Smith recommends modifying your existing routine or focusing on different muscles entirely while you recover.

"Cross training allows you to stay fit without interfering with the of your injury,” she says. "You can exercise with weights or a theraband if the injury is in your lower body or use a if you need to rest your upper body. Swimming or walking in the water may be ideal as well, if you need to reduce the pressure on your legs.”

When returning to a training routine, Smith recommends working back into it gradually, taking into account both the length of your break and previous fitness level. If you’ve been away from the gym for less than a week, it’s safe to start at 75 percent of your original intensity. If you’ve been away for longer, try starting at half that and gradually increase from there.
After changing your routine, you may notice soreness several hours or several days after the workout. While it’s not unusual to experience soreness, try light, repetitive exercise in the days following to help recover.

For colds or light illness, Smith says it’s fine to modify your activity as needed—just as long as you’re not contagious, don’t have a fever and take extra precautions to stay hydrated. For a case of the flu or a fever over 100 degrees, stay home and rest.

To reduce the risk of during a workout, Smith offers the following pointers:

● Warm up the /joints you will be using. Post-injury, you may need to warm up longer to prepare the tissue.
● To avoid overuse injuries, vary the intensity and type of your workouts. Include some type of weight training and cool down with stretching a few times a week.

Explore further: National survey finds most US physicians are satisfied

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NSAIDs: Take 'em early and often when competing? Think again

Dec 16, 2009

Athletes' superstitions and rituals can help them get psyched up for contests, but when these rituals involve non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which many athletes gobble down before and during events, they ...

Interval training can cut exercise hours sharply

Feb 25, 2010

(AP) -- People who complain they have no time to exercise may soon need another excuse. Some experts say intense exercise sessions could help people squeeze an entire week's workout into less than an hour. Intense exercise ...

Chronic ankle pain may be more than just a sprain

May 01, 2009

Ankle sprains are a common injury after a fall, sudden twist or blow to the ankle joint. Approximately 40 percent of those who suffer an ankle sprain will experience chronic ankle pain, even after being treated ...

Recommended for you

First lady tells America to 'Drink Up' more water

1 hour ago

Michelle Obama is expanding her push for America to drink more water, as the White House claims partial responsibility for helping to boost nearly $1 million in bottled water sales among consumers since the national "Drink ...

User comments : 0