Too Much of a Good Thing: When Overexercise Causes Chronic Pain

If you’re someone who likes to exercise, you know that some level of discomfort is to be expected as your muscles work to increase your strength and endurance. Sometimes, however, the very thing that should ensure your health can actually cause damage and chronic pain.

The team of highly skilled providers here at Pro Rehab Chiropractic and Rehabilitation understands the benefits of exercise — and the drawbacks of overexercising.

At our nine Delaware locations, we work to help patients overcome chronic pain caused by overexercising with our comprehensive array of chiropractic and rehabilitation services. Take a moment to learn more about overexercise and chronic pain and what you can do to find relief.

How does overexercise lead to chronic pain?

We all know that getting exercise is good for our mental and physical health. Exercise is also a key part of recovering from many health conditions.

With all the good news about exercise, it’s easy to think that more exercise is always better. In fact, too much exercise, or overexercising, can actually be bad for your health.

When you overexercise, you don’t give your body a chance to recover and repair the damage that exercise causes on a cellular level. This in turn can make it hard for your muscles, bones, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments to keep up. Tissues may begin to fail.

As you overwork parts of your body, you may develop issues such as tendinitis, stress fractures, and lower back pain. Over time, this pain can become chronic if you don’t take time off from exercising to address the root cause of the problem.

What are the signs I’m overexercising?

Everyone who exercises regularly understands that some pain and fatigue after a workout are normal. Your muscles may feel sore or burn as they repair the microtears caused by working out, and feeling tired is a sign that you’ve exerted yourself and worked hard.

But if you’re overexercising, you may experience ongoing or severe pain and excessive fatigue that indicate you’ve done too much. Here are signs you may be overexercising:

And, of course, if you develop chronic pain, that’s a good indication that you may be overexercising and that it may be time to seek help.

What can I do about chronic pain from overexercising?

If you believe your chronic pain is a result of overexercising, there are steps you can take to help alleviate your pain. Here are the top ways to address chronic pain from overexercising:

1. Rest, rest, rest

It may be hard to hear, but rest is essential if you have chronic pain due to exercise. Chronic pain indicates a problem, and rest provides your body the time it needs to heal. Take a break from your usual workout and ask a pro to help devise a cross-training plan to help you stay fit. 

2. Stretch … the right way!

Proper stretching can help you overcome chronic pain and work to build proper body mechanics. Find time to stretch to help your body recover and avoid future injuries. The team at Pro Rehab can customize a stretching plan for your unique needs. 

3. Seek professional care

Until you address the root cause of your chronic pain, the condition may not resolve. If you believe it’s due to overexercise, it’s important to get an evaluation from a trusted provider.

At ProRehab, we conduct a physical exam and order any necessary tests to accurately diagnose the cause of your chronic pain. We then work with you to develop a customized treatment plan that helps you recover fully and get back to exercising the right way.

Your personalized treatment may include some combination of the following:

If you have chronic pain due to overexercising, don’t wait to seek treatment. Call one of Pro Rehab’s nine convenient locations in Wilmington, Newark, Bear/Glasgow, Pike Creek, Christiana, Dover, or Lewes/Rehoboth, or book your appointment online now. 

We also offer telehealth consultations.

Dr. James Sheehan Dr. James Sheehan is an expert in the treatment of neck and back pain.

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