5 Tips to Keep You Working Out…Even When You Are in Pain

1) Modify your positions-  Many people have pain during certain movements but not with others... The key is to figure out which ones are causing the problem.

Let’s say that you have back pain when using the rower and while doing sit-ups... This tells us that the seated position is not a good position for you to be in. So your best bet would be to make sure that you do most of your exercises from a standing or upright position. This may include running and/or standing-based weight training.

2) Understand WHEN you are having pain- It's far too often that people with pain say they can not work out because it causes pain to flare up.

However, what I have found is that many people misunderstand the timing of pain with the activity.

What I mean by this is quite simple. Many people actually feel great while they are working out but when they go back to work and sit or drive home, the pain starts. This tells us that it may not be the workout that is the problem and taht it may actually be the abrupt change in activity level causing the issue.

W all live crazy, busy lives an usually run out of the gym to either get back to the office or pick the kids up from somewhere. And what happens is that we forget to do a proper cool-down.

Without a proper cool-down, our bod goes from 100% exertion to 0% exertion without a good step-down process so that our body can really relax properly.

3) Communicate with your trainer- There is a misconception going around that if you can not complete the workout EXACTLY like the rest of the class that you have ‘Failed’. I would argue that being able to always do exactly what everyone else is always  doing may be causing you more harm than good.

While participating in group fitness has amazing benefits, one of the drawbacks can be the pressure that you always have to do what everyone else is doing. What I recommend is that if you know that certain exercises always cause you a problem, simply talk to the trainer and ask if there is any way that said exercise can be modified to fit your needs. 

We all have different exercise! backgrounds and body types and it’s important to respect and act accordingly to meet those needs.

4) Play the long game- The most important part of losing weight is actually NOT how hard you work in the gym each session. Yes, this is important but something I have found more important is actually just being consistent.

Yes, consistency is key. I would much rather you leave something in the tank each workout so that you can come back tomorrow to the gym and workout again. 

Four sem-challenging workouts per week will always beat one really hard workout per week.

So, do enough to challenge yourself but not too much where you are too sore/injured to come back strong the next day.

5) Find a qualified provider to help- One of the frustrations that people have when working out is that with any injury, they feel that their doctor will simply tell them to take some pills and rest until the pain goes away.

But, if you are trying to lose weight this probably won’t work (see tip 4). When you find a medical provider (chiropractor, physical therapist, acupuncturist, medical doctor) who understands exercise as much as they do your medical issue, they can guide you on how to continue to train hard and lose weight...even when you are injured.

There are SO many options when exercising that it simply takes a little time and effort to put together a program that can still get you to your goals!


So there you have it: five things that you can do TODAY to modify your workouts and training routine... even if you are in pain. Obviously, there’s so much you can do and so much more to get into, but these are ones that are quick, easy, and can make a BIG difference.

I hope this is the beginning of a great, long-term relationship where myself and my colleagues become a source of cutting edge health advice for you and make a real difference in your life. 


Health Advice Disclaimer

We make every effort to ensure that we accurately represent the injury advice and prognosis displayed throughout this Guide.

However, examples of injuries and their prognosis are based on typical representations of those injuries that we commonly see in our physiotherapy clinics. The information given is not intended as representations of every individual’s potential injury. As with any injury, each person’s symptoms can vary widely and each person’s recovery from injury can also vary depending upon background, genetics, previous medical history, application of exercises, posture, motivation to follow medical advice and various other physical factors.

It is impossible to give a 100% complete accurate diagnosis and prognosis without a thorough physical examination and likewise the advice given for management of an injury cannot be deemed fully accurate in the absence of this examination from Dr. Michael Henrichs or one of the other doctors at Iowa Spine and Performance.

We are able to offer you this service at a standard charge. Significant injury risk is possible if you do not follow due diligence and seek suitable professional advice about your injury. No guarantees of specific results are expressly made or implied in this report.