Injuries and exercise: They’re two peas in a pod. If you’re a gym rat, runner, bodybuilder, or athlete of any kind, you’ve likely run into more than a few of your own. The fact is, when we work out or exercise, we’re stressing our bodies. While we’re more or less designed to take a certain amount of physical punishment, things can go wrong. We can land awkwardly, twist or pull something that we shouldn’t, or simply just push too hard.
When we do that, we’re doing significant damage — sometimes irreversible damage. But there are a lot of people who push through the pain. Discomfort comes hand in hand with exercise and some people just don’t want to stop. Or, perhaps they can’t tell the difference between a serious injury and the pain associated with fatigue. Since everyone experiences varying levels of soreness after exercise, how do you know when the issue goes deeper than that?
Some injuries are obvious. A bone might be sticking out of an appendage, for example. Or maybe putting any kind of weight on a leg causes you to collapse. In those cases, it’s clear something’s wrong and you need to get to a doctor. Other injuries are more subtle — they manifest quietly and stick around for awhile. In these cases, you may not know you’re doing a lot of damage to your body or that you need to go see a medical professional to adequately heal.
Here are 10 things to look out for if you’re trying to discern a serious injury from standard soreness or minor aches.