Exercise with Pain

The Food Forum's Evil Twin. Trying to lose weight or get in shape? Tips, encouragement, status reports, and so forth go here.
Disclaimer: Unless otherwise stated, we are not health professionals. Take advice with salt.

Moderators: Mighty Jalapeno, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Exercise with Pain

Postby sourmìlk » Fri May 06, 2011 7:02 am UTC

So, I have chronic back, shoulder, and everything pain. At the age of 16. I don't know either. This is particularly present when I exercise: even some extremely light exercise, occasionally stretching, will hurt so horribly that it debilitates me for a few hours. this isn't the kind of light pain that's present because of a work-out. I've experienced that and it doesn't bother me too much. This is excruciating, I've been sent to the hospital because of it (although it's nothing that some very strong opiates can't cure.) Even when exercising doesn't make me throw out my back, the pain (generally joint pain) involved makes it so that I can't actually do anything for longer than a few minutes. Hell, occasionally doing nothing at all causes pain. Right now I'm currently unable to move my shoulder do to muscular pain. The only exception to this "exercise causes debilitating pain" rule is swimming, because it's low impact, but I usually don't have the option to do that.

My question to you then, Fit Club, is what kind of exercises can I do that don't result in excruciating pain? Excuse me if I come off as just somebody who uses the burn associated with exercise to justify not doing it. While I am extremely lazy, trust me that this isn't the case.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
Ulc
Posts: 1301
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:05 pm UTC
Location: Copenhagen university

Re: Exercise with Pain

Postby Ulc » Fri May 06, 2011 7:54 am UTC

Go. See. A. Doctor.

The Fit Club here is fine for everyday working out, and the occasional advice, but if the level of pain you describe is in any way accurate, what you need is not our advice - but a workout program made by a combination of a good doctor, experienced with joint injuries and a personal trainer.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it - Aristotle

A White Russian, shades and a bathrobe, what more can you want from life?

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: Exercise with Pain

Postby sourmìlk » Fri May 06, 2011 7:56 am UTC

Ulc wrote:Go. See. A. Doctor.

The Fit Club here is fine for everyday working out, and the occasional advice, but if the level of pain you describe is in any way accurate, what you need is not our advice - but a workout program made by a combination of a good doctor, experienced with joint injuries and a personal trainer.


I have seen many doctors, and the prescribed treatment is exercise and physical therapy. Well that's nice, but also a catch-22
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
Nath
Posts: 3148
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:14 pm UTC

Re: Exercise with Pain

Postby Nath » Fri May 06, 2011 8:21 am UTC

There are many types of pain, so without knowing more, it's hard to make recommendations. Does it feel muscular? Have you tried massage? Foam rolling? Ice? What did the physical therapist say?

Generally, low-rep strength training will make joints feel and function better (as long as form is good). Extended exercise like jogging is more likely to cause overuse injuries, though this can be mitigated with sensible form and programming. Of course, if there's too much pain to perform compound free-weight movements through a full range of motion, that needs to be solved first.

One thing you'll need to be more conscious of than most people is warm-ups. For instance, do several sets with an empty bar before doing any weightlifting. Then work up to your working weights in smallish increments, taking care not to get too fatigued before your real workout begins. The good news is, a proper warm-up will make the work sets less painful.

But basically, I agree with Ulc. If it's really as bad as it sounds, the first thing you need is a diagnosis. The second thing you need is a good PT.

User avatar
Ulc
Posts: 1301
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:05 pm UTC
Location: Copenhagen university

Re: Exercise with Pain

Postby Ulc » Fri May 06, 2011 8:28 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I have seen many doctors, and the prescribed treatment is exercise and physical therapy. Well that's nice, but also a catch-22


Then get them to refer you to a serious and reliable personal trainer. This seriously isn't a matter where listening to the internet is a good idea, since the level of pain you describe clearly shows that you need a workout program specially customized to your exact needs.

We have way to few details here to figure out how you can exercise your joints without causing additional harm - and even if we had sufficient knowledge about the situation, we're not professionals here.

The normal advice for people with injuries in their joints is to do bodyweight exercises along with swimming. Progressing very slowly and not expecting great changes from one month to another, above and beyond all taking great care never to rip back open the injury. But if even stretching can cause you to experience serious pain for hours, that's not useful advice.

(Edit: Nath is correct about exercises with weight, they do help an awful lot. Personally I also think they make it far to easy to put to much weight on and ripping open a almost healed injury without realising that what is happening before it is to late, to recommend it to someone with joint injuries)
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it - Aristotle

A White Russian, shades and a bathrobe, what more can you want from life?

biodomino
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:18 am UTC

Re: Exercise with Pain

Postby biodomino » Mon May 09, 2011 6:42 am UTC

I was going to suggest physical therapy, myself. Is there some reason physical therapy isn't an option? It will probably hurt for the time being, but that's often the case with physical therapy pain management like what you're describing, and often people don't do it because the treatment requires so much pain, but then they're often elderly and lose the will. At your young age especially, you should work through it if that's the case. If you need help with adherence, I would be willing to offer support.

gfile-destroyer
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 3:26 pm UTC

Re: Exercise with Pain

Postby gfile-destroyer » Wed May 18, 2011 5:08 pm UTC

Ya physical therapy is the way to go. I had to go through it myself at 19 due to tendonitis. Im so much better it's amazing. Before I got hurt I used to bike 12 miles a day, hundreds of crunches, and weights. After I got hurt it was like my life was completely turned upside down and I couldnt do anything but sit and recover. Finally when I was sent to a physical therapist things started to turn around, Id given up hope of getting better at that point. I'd highly recommend it, helped me a lot with my wrists and knee.

User avatar
Samik
Posts: 511
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:14 am UTC

Re: Exercise with Pain

Postby Samik » Wed May 25, 2011 10:00 pm UTC

While my situation is not entirely comparable to yours, I think maybe it might have some similarities that are useful.

I have always been injury prone. I mean, really injury prone. By the age of 20, I had thrown out my back (and I don't mean like when someone says they threw out their back, and then they're ok the next day - I mean couldn't-stand-up=laid-out for two weeks, and 3 months or so before I was feeling more or less recuperated), and re-aggravated it a half dozen times, trashed both of my ankles and knees, and had episodes of considerable pain in both hips, both shoulders, and some variety of left achilles injury that left me hopping around for a month and favoring that foot for much longer. Toss is a nasty groin pull for good measure.

Naturally, like you, whenever I try to explain this to someone - how injury prone I am - I universally get quit-whining looks. No doctor or physical trainer has every had anything useful to tell me - just "stretch more", or "don't push yourself" etc. etc.


Well, to cut to the chase, the problem did turn out to be flexibility related. For whatever reason, every tendon in my body tightens up massively at even a light amount of psychical exertion; there's no limit to which areas can cause me difficulty - if it's capable of being worked out, it's capable of tightening up like a screw and causing intense pain. I resolved this by establishing a drastic, intensive full body stretching regimen. For me, a three hour workout now consists of an hour of warmup stretching (around 20 different types of stretches), an hour of exercise, and an hour of cooldown stretching. Every. Single. Time. (I can't even allow myself to drop down and do a spontaneous light set of pushups without stretching out before and afterwards.)

There's no way around it for me - that's just my body. For whatever reason, I was born one of the least flexible, most tense people you've ever met, and it takes a huge investment of time to make even the most meager progress in that regard.


This is probably not what you wanted to hear, but the simple fact is, we did not all win the genetic lottery. Some of us have to put in many times more work for the same results as others, and there's nothing we can do about it. It may not be fair, but you either accept it and work around it, or you learn to live with being out of shape.

Now, flexibility may have nothing to do with it for you - there may be some real medical condition at work for you here that only a doctor can help you with - but flexibility can never hurt. If you're absolutely running out of ideas, and no medical professional has anything useful to say to you, I would try doing a really comprehensive stretching regimen for a while. If you're anything like me, you'll probably have to start out embarrassingly slowly, and it may take months before you really start to get results, but it's better than the alternative, right?



(Oh, and for what it's worth, as long as I work myself up excruciatingly slowly, and stretch intensively and religiously, it turns out I actually have massive recovery capability. I'm not the strongest guy, or a real endurance runner, but once I'm near my peak, there's no amount/intensity of exercise that I can do that i won't feel 100% an hour later and be ready to do the same again (and forget next day muscle soreness). So in my case, the huge commitment required at least comes with a pretty solid payoff. So maybe you have that to look forward to.)

gfile-destroyer
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 3:26 pm UTC

Re: Exercise with Pain

Postby gfile-destroyer » Sat May 28, 2011 11:24 am UTC

I'd really like to hear about this stretching routine of yours :D . I dont want to do yoga because I have a small umbilical hernia, but stretches that don't involve contorting my stomach strangely and breathing deep should be great. And I really need the stretching.


Return to “Fit Club”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests