Factors to Consider When Training Around Pain

During your training, you must have come across pain and soreness at some point. What do you have to do in this situation? Should you stop training for a while or keep going? This question troubles everyone regardless of whether they are beginners or experienced trainers. 

The answer to this, however, is not simple. It is usually recommended not to stop training at the very first sign of pain. Like it is popularly said, you should not train through pain but train around it.

In most cases, recovery exercises such as walking and stretching can be helpful. The decision to keep training depends on the pain symptoms and their severity that you experience. 

It is essential to consider some factors when training around pain. These factors help you determine whether the pain you experience is normal or an indication that you have to stop and rest. Read on to know all about it.

Things to Keep in Mind While Training Around Pain

Severity of the Pain

You need to determine the severity of the pain and assess it. The most common cause of your pain is muscle soreness. It usually happens because of the microtears in the muscles that cause inflammation.

It may seem uncomfortable. However, it shouldn't be too painful. Your discomfort will generally reduce after 48 – 72 hours. It is acceptable to train around this pain. This physical activity may even help you feel better.
On the other hand, if you feel a persistent pain as you train, it is a signal for you to stop. It can be an indication of any structural or functional injury. If you experience such intense pain, do not train through it. It can lead to serious injuries.

Range of Motion

While dealing with any muscle soreness, the body usually does not prefer to get into certain ranges. To indicate this, your body sends out pain signals. You can work around this pain by reducing your training’s range of motion.
By decreasing this, your body regains its confidence in certain movements. Eventually, it goes back to the higher ranges that you are aiming at.

For instance, let’s consider that squatting is causing hip pain. You can then reduce the motion while squatting and stop right before the position in which this pain occurs. By this method, you can reap some of the benefits of squatting while ensuring that you do not worsen the pain.

Training Intensity

Sometimes pain occurs because of overtraining. You may be spending excessive time at your training, and your body is struggling to keep up.
It is best to regulate the intensity and volume of your training at this point. It gives your body more time to recover instead of overstressing itself.
You do not have to drastically cut down your training intensity. All you have to do is train around the pain by reducing the number of sets and reps from your usual routine. In this way, you effectively stimulate your muscle instead of causing unnecessary inflammation.

Make sure to take the first few minutes before you train to gauge how your body is feeling. It lets you know if you can push your intensity or reduce it a little to give your body adequate recovery time.


To effectively train around pain, you can consider modifying your regular workouts. You can make slight modifications or even completely change your exercise.

The best way to do this is to look out for the exercises that have similar benefits while being less stressful to your pained muscles.

If walking lunges are painful, you can consider doing split squats instead. You can also choose something entirely different. Make sure to select the exercises that allow you to keep moving and training around the pain.

It is essential, however, that you avoid putting too much stress on your muscles.


While it is great that you want to continue training around your pain, you cannot overstress your muscles. If the pain persists, you have to seek consultation.
If you experience any of the below symptoms, you need to visit your doctor:
Sharp, persistent pain

Loss of sensation
Numbness or tingling

Your doctor may advise home treatments such as medication or ice. If there are any serious injuries, X-rays may be required to determine further treatment.

Final Thoughts

It may be essential to rest your muscles when you are in pain. However, rather than complete rest, it is beneficial to move them. You do not have to entirely stop this inflammation process as your body needs some of it to recover.
The best way to do this is by training around your pain. Make sure to consider the factors mentioned while doing so. However, remember not to overstress your body. If you experience persistent pain, you have to consult your doctor.