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I suffered a serious sprain four months ago. So serious that my hand felt like it was going to fall off for the next three months after lifting. Or, in the first month, even doing one push up, and the doctor says it is fully recovered now. I thought it was too until about 4 weeks after returning. It is giving very mild pain, nothing near to what it used to be. As for my knee, I hurt it a month ago and it is also only giving a little pain when squatting and it is supposed to be an injury from running that will take 2 months to heal the doctor says. If I extend it, it clicks but it's not supposed to be permanent damage. Should I lay off or keep working? It makes me upset knowing that months have been going by and I am not lifting because life is short and if I am 20 years old I probably only have about 60 years left. Help?

  • related (not necessarily duplicate): fitness.stackexchange.com/a/23666/7091 – Eric Aug 25 '15 at 19:12
  • By age 60 the skill of being able to manage and come back from an injury will have been way more useful to you than a couple pounds of muscle. – Noumenon Aug 26 '15 at 2:32
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If your body is able to withstand the stress exercise places on your injury without worsening your condition, then you should exercise. How are you able to determine whether or not your body can withstand the stress? The only way is to exercise and observe the result.

There are obvious risks involved in this. No one can advise you whether or not you should take those risks. Only you can decide for yourself whether resuming exercise to avoid losing physical ability is worth taking the risk of doing further damage to your body.

If you decide to attempt to exercise with your injury, there are several things you can do to minimize the risks of doing further injury.

Start each exercise very slowly. Get to the initial point of strain on the body and determine whether or not you feel safe continuing. If the strain you feel is unfamiliar, you may want to opt on the side of safety and stop.

All of your repetitions should be very slow and controlled. In performing them as such, you are more likely to be able to feel pain coming and stop the movement before the pain arrives; any quick or jerky movements will have the potential to trigger pain instantly.

Note how your body feels after you complete a set. Sometimes the onset of pain is delayed. Similarly, note how you feel after the entire workout and in the hours and days following. Do this to help determine how your body has withstood the stress of exercise.

This is an iterative process; you will need to continuously monitor your body after each workout. In addition to alerting you to when you've pushed yourself too far, this process will also help you to learn the levels of discomfort with which you can safely continue exercising.

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Don't do exercise that involves the injured areas. I understand that you don't like going so long without doing those exercises, but by continuing to do them when you have pain is most likely going to cause more damage, and then you'll need to stop for an even longer extended period.

Nevertheless, continue doing exercises that don't cause pain.

The best thing to do is to go back to the doctor and ask his advice. He should know your injury and situation well, and give you advice. There should be exercises to help it heal quicker; you can see a physiotherapist or search online for your specific injury.

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