If you are a fitness enthusiast, then you already know that getting sore muscles a day or two after a rigorous work out session is normal. It happens a lot, especially if you suddenly increase your exercise intensity or if you resume working out after taking a long break from it.
The pain associated with the soreness is usually caused by tiny injuries in the connective tissue and muscle fiber. Avoiding it can be hard, especially for those working out from home during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Read on to learn more about what it takes to manage the pain.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Experts refer to the condition as Delayed Onset Muscle or DOMS. The pain should not worry you unless it goes on for weeks or if it is accompanied by inflammation. Other than that, the pain is simply your body’s way of telling you that your muscles need time to adjust to your workout and recovery from the aforementioned tiny injuries. With time, your body will get accustomed to your new workout routine. You’ll then experience little or no pain at all.
Sore muscles that occur after intense exercising usually subside after just 48 hours of rest or even less. If the pain goes on for a days, then be sure you have sustained a serious injury. Most likely, you have torn a ligament or a tendon. Remember that severe pain during workout is one of the most common signs of muscle strain. Be sure to see a doctor immediately if your muscle pain is accompanied by high fever, breathing difficulties, stick neck and muscle weakness.
Relieving The Pain
An ice pack always comes in handy anytime you experience muscle soreness. If you have sustained an acute injury or if you notice swelling of the joint or muscle area and it feels warm, gently wrap an ice pack in a thin piece of cloth and place it on the sore muscle. Do this for 15 to 20 minutes. Then if there is no swelling at all and your muscles are only sore from working out, apply a heat pack for approximately 15 minutes to quickly boost your blood circulation.
Perform Eccentric Exercises Gradually
You probably don’t know this yet but you are more likely to develop muscle aches if your muscles work eccentrically. Note that eccentric contractions happen when muscles lengthen under tension during the down motion of bicep curls. Jogging, walking or even running downhill are further examples of eccentric training. Avoid it if you can then try to increase intensity gradually.
Muscle soreness should not stop you from working out. Remember you will experience more pain if you suddenly stop exercising then suddenly start exercising again. So once you experience muscle soreness, reduce your working out intensity for a while. Consider light exercises before you can resume your normal working out routine.
Take Good Care Of Yourself
Stretch your muscles for at least 10 minutes after exercising. This will go a long way to prevent soreness. You may also want to consider sports or trigger point massage if possible. That way, your sore muscles will relax.