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EDITORIAL: Exercise soreness or injury pain?

by Healthy Living Siloam Springs Regional Hospital | June 6, 2023 at 7:00 a.m.

Whether you're an athlete, a weekend warrior, or someone trying to work fitness into your daily routine, you've probably dealt with pain at some point. In 2020, the National Safety Council reported 426,000 bicycling injuries alone.

Knowing the difference between the "good" pain you feel after a hard workout and injury is essential.

If you experience muscle soreness or feel a little stiff a few hours or up to a day after exercising, that's normal. It happens when your muscles have worked hard and need time to repair and grow stronger. This can occur if you're starting to work out or a fitness veteran who's flexing a new muscle group.

If you are very sore, you can try at-home remedies. Light exercise or gentle stretching helps ease the pain in many cases. After stretching, try ice (for soreness or an injury the same day) or heat (for soreness or an injury after the first day). Over-the-counter pain medications, especially nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen, can also help.

If your muscle or joint pain is severe, and you notice bruising or swelling, it could indicate a severe injury. Common fitness-related injuries include sprains, strains, patellar tendinitis, and runner's knee. Try the RICE method -- rest, ice, compression and elevation -- if you suspect an injury.

If your pain or swelling doesn't disappear within seven to 10 days, consult your doctor about the best course of action. Chronic joint pain may indicate that you could benefit from a joint replacement procedure. When your joints wear down due to arthritis or injury, day-to-day life becomes more difficult. Your doctor might recommend joining more than 1 million Americans yearly who have a knee or hip replaced.

Signs you should have a conversation with your doctor about joint replacement include:

Inability to get through day-to-day tasks without help -- for example, unloading the dishwasher or cleaning the living room;

Osteoarthritis pain that is affecting your mental or emotional well-being;

Pain that doesn't get better with conservative approaches, such as rest, medication or physical therapy;

Pain that keeps you from sleeping or affects your ability to walk.

Did you know Siloam Springs Regional Hospital recently expanded its surgical services to include robotic-assisted orthopedic surgery for total knee, total hip and partial knee replacement? While this surgical procedure is similar to traditional hip and knee replacements, the robotic technology allows surgeons to get a precise implant, which is important for comfort and overall experience after surgery. It also takes note of the unique aspects of an individual's anatomy and allows physicians to personalize the surgical approach of the joint replacement.

To learn more, visit https://bit.ly/SSRH-Robotics and ask your surgeon if a robotic-assisted joint replacement is right for you.

About Siloam Springs Regional Hospital

Siloam Springs Regional Hospital is a licensed 73-bed facility with 42 private patient rooms. It is accredited by the State of Arkansas Department of Health Services and The Joint Commission. Some services include inpatient and outpatient surgery, emergency medicine, medical, surgical, and intensive care units, obstetrics, outpatient diagnostic services, and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. With more than 50 physicians on the medical staff, Siloam Springs Regional Hospital provides compassionate, customer-focused care. SSRH is an affiliate of Northwest Health, the largest health system in Northwest Arkansas. Siloam Springs Regional Hospital is located at 603 N. Progress Ave. in Siloam Springs. For more information, visit NorthwestHealth.com.

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