Can lifting weights cause joint pain?

The joint pain due to weight lifting is a potential indication of repetitive stress. Overuse or overload on any joint in the body can ultimately lead to enough wear and tear on the tendons, muscles and bones that the stress results to injuries. In addition, even poor or incorrect form while weightlifting can injure the joints, thus giving rise to joint pain.

Close look on joint pain

With most individuals, the saying “no pain, no gain” is commonly heard, but this is not true for weightlifting. Once the individual feels pain, he/she must cease the activity.

Always bear in mind that pain is how the body tells you that there is something wrong. Working out despite the pain can lead to serious injuries. When it comes to joint pain, it simply indicates that the injury is quite different than the dull burning sensation of muscle fatigue felt from the exertion of lifting, thus it is vital to pay close attention to the signs given by the body.

Joint pain

The ideal way to minimize the risk for injury and the resulting joint pain is to observe the proper form.

Proper form while weightlifting

The ideal way to minimize the risk for injury and the resulting joint pain is to observe the proper form. If an individual initially tries weightlifting, it is recommended to consult a personal trainer so that he/she can be guided on the proper use of equipment.

A 30-minute session can familiarize the individual with the essential basics on strength training and to prevent injuries. Even those who have been lifting for years can greatly benefit from the guidance of a personal trainer. Working out under the supervision of a personal trainer can help identify any issues in the technique and the necessary corrections can be made to prevent repetitive stress and injury.

Using weights

Aside from correct form or technique, lifting the proper weight suitable for the fitness level of the individual is vital particularly with the joints. Overloading the joints with excessive weight can result to injuries.

It is recommended to start with a weight that that individual can lift for 12-15 repetitions. The correct load will not only help build-up muscle but also strengthen the bones.


If the individual experiences joint pain after lifting weights, getting enough rest and application of ice on the affected joint is beneficial.

Allowing the joint to rest provides it with enough time to heal while the application of an ice pack minimizes the inflammation that contributes to the discomfort. Over-the-counter pain medications such as naproxen, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can also minimize the joint pain.

Once the pain subsides, the individual can resume his/her regular workout routine. It is best to stay conservative if possible by making sure to stretch before lifting as well as minimize the progression of weights used until able to resume the normal workout. In case the pain is intense, disrupts with the range of motion and felt while performing other activities or lasts longer than a week, it is best to consult a doctor.


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