A lot of us lift weights. This means that a lot of us might experience some kind of pain!
What you have to understand is that pain is there as a protection mechanism for the body. There is a reason that you feel pain and your body is telling you “you’re doing this wrong”, so don’t just ignore it.
When we feel pain it can be all too easy to start freaking out that you’ve caused some kind of major structural damage to your body. This can result in you missing workouts, making visits to the doctor, and a lot of stress...
Without sounding too much like a hippy, you do need to listen to your body. If you’ve hurt yourself and need some recovery time, that’s absolutely fine, but don’t sit at home feeling sorry for yourself.
I did this very thing a few years ago! It started off as a niggle in my elbow, nothing that I couldn’t deal with. I thought I could train through it and it’d eventually disappear. You can probably guess what happened next. Yes, it got worse! I ended up feeling pain and discomfort doing the most basic things like writing, all because I ignored what my body was trying to tell me.
This lead to me getting put on a physio waiting list for around 6 months or so and during that time my exercise routine was almost non-existent. I let an injury get to me and didn’t even try to work around it. When I finally got physio treatment and let it heal properly, it was time to get back in the gym and it was tough. If you don’t use it, you lose it and it’s a pain in the ass to rebuild strength as I unfortunately found out.
Long story short, don’t do what I did and sit at home feeling sorry for yourself, because that doesn’t solve a damn thing.
If you’ve pulled a hamstring, you can still do plenty of upper body work. If you have a rotator cuff impingement, you can still do plenty of lower body work. There will almost always be SOMETHING that you can still do to keep yourself strong and active whilst your injury heals.
The worst thing to do if you have an injury is ignore the injury. The second worst thing to do if you have an injury is to stop exercising. Find ways to exercise and keep fit even if you have an injury, but make sure you let it heal!