The Do’s and Don’ts of Working Out with an Injury

This week, TargitFit is pleased to bring you an informative health and fitness article from Dr. Brent Wells, D.C.:

There is nothing to compare to the joy of being able to move freely, without pain, and having the energy to get through our days without the need for that 3 PM pick-me-up coffee.

Exercise brings us multiple benefits, including a full range of motion without pain, and increased energy levels to name a few, but what happens to your workout when you have an injury?

Some of us love working out so much and feeling those endorphins kick in that when we become injured, whether through exercise or in some other manner, we still think working out is ok, but is it really?

Today I want to talk to you about the dos and don’ts of working out when you have been injured.

It Isn’t the End of the World

Becoming injured does not mean that your entire world comes to a halt. You should still be able to do many things you normally do, including your favorite exercise, in most cases anyway.

While you might need to give your injury a short time to heal and give your body time to rest, most times you can modify your workout so that you can still enjoy exercising without doing more harm than good.

If you were injured while playing a sport, at the gym, on the job, or simply by accident, the following list of do’s and don’ts will help you heal faster and get your regular schedule back on track sooner, rather than later.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Working Out with an Injury

Keep in mind that this list will vary from person to person based on the type of injury you have suffered. If you’ve broken your leg, for example, swimming is not going to be an option for you. So, if one item on this list doesn’t apply, try another one.

  • DO recognize when to stop. If it hurts, chances are that the injury hasn’t healed, or the exercise is doing you harm. Seek out the advice of your doctor or chiropractor.
  • DO adjust your exercises so that the affected area can rest. Yes, this may mean several weeks of rest for injuries such as tendonitis, but it is necessary to avoid re-injuring yourself and making matters worse.










  • DON’T “push through the pain.” I’ve seen too many people think “no pain no gain” is the way to go and they only end up hurting themselves even further. There is a difference between pushing your body to the max and physical pain from an injury.
  • DON’T ask your friends on social media what the problem might be and then follow their advice (unless they are a doctor or chiropractor, of course) Will tendonitis go away on its own? Your chiropractor or doctor knows, your friends, probably not.
  • DO listen to your body and your doctor. If your elbow hurts, for example, even when you aren’t working out, this would NOT be a good time to spend an hour on the rowing machine! Listen to and follow the instructions of your doctor or chiropractor. They study sports injuries in college so they are well equipped to advise you of what you need to do.


  • DO visit your chiropractor. They will not only help you avoid future problems, but they can also set you on the road to healing and suggest modifications to your workout so you can get the best of both worlds: healing and
  • DON’T stretch a pulled or torn muscle. Stretching is normally a good idea before and after your exercise routine but if the muscle has been damaged, you will only be exacerbating the problem.
  • DON’T take painkillers so you can keep working out. This is a really bad idea! Speak to your doctor, pharmacist, or chiropractor about natural anti-inflammatory supplements that can reduce pain levels naturally.
  • DO wait until you have felt no pain for one week or more before you begin exercising the injured area again.
  • DO start off slowly. Don’t expect your injured arm, leg, or back to be able to handle pre-injured levels of exercise.

Most of these do’s and don’ts are common sense, but so many people eschew them for advice from friends, relatives, or out of stubbornness.

If you are experiencing pain when you exercise or if you have sustained an injury and, despite rest, it still causes you pain after 4-6 weeks, it’s time to seek the professional help of a chiropractor or your primary care physician.


Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. Besides spinal adjustment, his clinic has treated thousands of patients in Alaska through massage therapy designed to provide long-lasting relief.

Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe, Organic Facts, and Thrive Global. He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.

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