Good versus Bad Pain – What Parents of High School Athletes Need to Know – Part II

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As a fitness professional for over 25 years and the Training and Conditioning Coach for the WTWoodson Crew Team for the last 6 years, I have put together a few articles that I think will benefit parents (and coaches) for high school athletes.  Enjoy!!

Good versus Bad Pain

Note:  I am NOT a doctor and in this article realize that I am NOT prescribing for your athlete!  Any persistent pain should be seen by a doctor!

 You ask:  “Is there such a thing as “Good” pain??”  I answer:  “Of course!!”  Good pain is muscle soreness.  When you take a muscle to fatigue or failure, it grows or hypertrophies.  The only way for the muscle to grow is to tear.  These micro tears are ONE reason that muscle soreness exists.  Muscle soreness tells you that you have done a GREAT job!  It means that you are one step closer to being stronger and healthier.  It means that you are one step closer to achieving your goals!  So, thank your muscles for being sore by taking care of them:  1) Lots of water!; 2) Stretch, stretch, stretch!; 3) Take a salt bath; 4) Take an anti-inflammatory if you need to. 

 Bad pain is a bit more complicated.  Sharp, stabbing pain is one type of bad pain.  Pain in any joint is bad pain.  Any back pain is not to be messed with or ignored!  See your coach immediately with back pain issues!  Any bad pain that lasts for more than a couple of days should be seen by a doctor. 

 Remember that if your athlete has not been working out consistently before conditioning, pain is going to happen!  Common pain that comes with working out so much when not in shape:

                Shin Splints – This happens when the foot is not being supported or when a lot of running is being introduced to the body.  New shoes, icing as much as possible (no more than 20 minutes at a time), taping by the Trainer, and anti-inflammatories are ways to alleviate this pain.

                Knee pain – When the quadriceps are not strong enough to handle the stress of running, strength training, plyometrics (jumping) and exercising, the knees will be affected.  Supportive shoes, icing, a brace, and anti-inflammatories are ways to alleviate this pain.

                Pain in wrists or elbows – Workouts cana be adjusted to remove the stress from these joints.

                Cramping muscles – This can be a sign of a lack of potassium or dehydration (the most common, but not the only reasons).  Make sure that if your athlete is experiencing cramping that they bananas are introduced to their diets and that they are drinking enough water (adding Gatorade to their diet might also be a good idea instead of just water).

Love to you