How Long Should You Power Through Pain Before Seeking Medical Help?

There’s no simple answer to the question of how much pain is normal and at what point you should seek medical attention. Powering through pain is often part of “the game,” no matter what your game is. The “no pain, no gain” ethos is common even when you’re conditioning.

In this blog, the expert doctors at Valley Pain Centers discuss the causes of pain and when you should seek help.

The cause of pain

Everyone feels pain. Though there are different types of pain, they all serve as warning signs. Pain is a nerve response to tissue damage. Pain alerts you to possible problems so you can avoid injury, take time to rest, or seek medical attention.

Experience is often a factor in knowing when to quit and when to play through. A person starting an exercise program on a treadmill, for example, may feel some pain in their hips after just a few minutes of walking at moderate speeds. At the start of their training, they may cut the workout short to avoid harming their hip joints. 

However, as they progress, they may find that this minor pain is their body adjusting to the mechanics needed to walk on the treadmill. As time goes on, the sensation may disappear altogether.

Activity and pain

Pain often results from exertion. The extra effort you give during a league game may have an intensity beyond that of practice, so you may expect the aches, discomfort, and pain from playing at a higher level. The resulting pain may not concern you, and it may not prevent you from powering through continued activity. 

However, if pain goes beyond your normal experience in an activity you’re familiar with, you may need to get medical care. 

When pain accompanies other issues, such as mobility problems or functional issues not related to your activity, then there is a higher chance you’ll need medical care. And if pain gets worse or your physical limitations grow in seriousness, you should seek medical help. And, if the pain doesn’t improve over time, you should also see a doctor. 

When to seek urgent medical care

Injuries that cause immediate swelling and severe pain, those that create popping or crunching noises, or those that cause an inability to support weight are all situations where you need prompt medical attention. 

Continuing to play despite the pain may cause additional damage. If a sports injury includes dizziness, fever, or problems with breathing, then there may be a health emergency in progress, and immediate medical attention is likely necessary.

If you feel pain, don’t ignore it. Furthermore, don’t let peer pressure or perceived toughness interfere with your judgment. Be wise and get help if needed.

At Valley Pain Centers, with three convenient Arizona locations in Phoenix, Peoria, and Scottsdale, you are never a number. Your consultation, examination, and treatment are always administered by a highly qualified physician. When it comes to treating pain, we have several experienced physicians who can help you, including Toure Knighton, MD, Dinesh Chinthagada, MD, Jin Yuk, MD, David Kush, MD, Patricia Henthorn, DC, and Jon Tanner, DC. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.

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