For anyone who enjoys staying fit and keeping healthy, injuries are, unfortunately, a part of an active lifestyle. And what’s worse? As your body ages, no matter how healthy you are, things will begin to change. Suddenly, you’re experiencing knee pain in a spot you never even knew existed, all from running only half the amount of mileage you used to not even think twice about.
Upon chatting with Dr. Brad Thomas, orthopedic surgeon and founding partner of Beach Cities Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, The Cheat Sheet learned about some telltale signs that you’re either on the brink of injury or have been injured. Whether you’re feeling a symptom creep up or are experiencing full-on pain but your stubborn determination to keep training overpowers your otherwise logical sense of good judgement, here are three things Thomas says you should look out for.
1. Pain in a specific area
Pain in a localized area of your body, that either doesn’t go away or returns every time you are active, Thomas suggests, is worth a visit to your doctor. While it’s not necessary to run to your physician every time your body isn’t at its peak performance, if you need to limp to your doc, well then, you might want to get on your way.
2. Persistent swelling
Thomas tells us, “Persistent swelling of a joint is another bad sign, which could indicate a cartilage or ligament injury.” While the good ol’ R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compress, elevate) method is a good one, if you’re seeing something that’s visually out of whack, trust your gut and get it checked out.
3. Numbness, burning, or weakness
Back and neck problems are definitely nothing to mess with. If you’re ever awoken at night by pain, there’s a reason your body isn’t letting you sleep soundly. Equally as important, numbness, burning, and weakness in an extremity are all signs of potentially serious issues, Thomas explains.
When your body acts up, it’s imperative to remember the importance of actually listening to what it might be trying to tell you. While the old saying goes, “no pain, no gain,” and you might think this eludes to never giving up no matter what, it’s safe to say that it’s perfectly acceptable to use your good intuition. When it comes to physical health, the human body is an incredibly powerful and resilient instrument, so take care of it, for goodness sake! Thomas says, “We all want to stay active, so seek attention for your ailments when they are minor. Often minor corrections can help you avoid the problem from becoming a surgical or chronic condition.”