When is it OK to Run Through Pain?

There are different types of pain, and it can be difficult to determine when to seek professional help. Here are a few loose guidelines that may give you some guidance.

Pain that is generally okay:

  • Normal aches and pains associated with exercise like burning in the muscles during strenuous exercise
  • General muscle soreness after exercise lasting 2-3 days
  • Slight joint discomfort (less that 2/10 on a 0-10 pain scale) after a workout that is gone within 24 hours
  • Slight stiffness at the beginning of a run or walk that dissipates after the first 10 minutes

Pain that is not okay:

  • Pain that increases in the evening, wakes you or keeps you awake at night
  • Pain that is evident at the beginning of a run or walk and persists or gets worse as you continue
  • Pain that changes your stride
  • Pain that lingers more than 24 hours after your run or walk
  • Sharp, throbbing or stabbing pain

If you experience any of the second types of pain you should stop running and consult with your physical therapy or physician to determine the source of the pain and begin an appropriate treatment which may include cross training, physical therapy, massage therapy, or other medical intervention.

By Sarah Elsen, MPT

Disclaimer: This is intended for informational and educational purposes only and in no way should be taken to be the practice of physical therapy or professional healthcare advice or services. The information should not be considered complete or exhaustive and should not be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes without first consulting with your physical therapist, physician or other healthcare provider. The owners of this accept no responsibility for the misuse of information contained herein.

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