If you’re like millions of other Americans, your New Year’s fitness resolutions included a desire to become more active. Whether it’s spending more time at the gym, hiking in Arizona’s great outdoors or getting involved in a specialty workout class, you’ve upped your activity level and are likely suffering from some muscle pain or soreness as you honor your resolutions.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, some of the most common bouts of exercise pain or soreness includes reduced range of motion, joint stiffness, local swelling, and tenderness.
While some exercise pain in normal, you can’t be too sure. Since the body is still making adaptations to a new training stimulus, experts advise people be aware of and understand the difference between pain suffered from injury, and exercise-related pain or soreness. Don’t let your pain derail your fitness goals. Here are a few things to consider:
Injury vs. Exercise-Related Pain:
If you’re experiencing exercise-related pain or soreness, it will likely occur over days one to three of starting a new workout. This pain and soreness is normal and is the result of safe damage to muscle fibers called Delayed Onset Muscular Soreness (DOMS). In contrast, if you feel pain during or after a workout that is sharp, it could be the indication of an injury. If you experience this bout of pain, make sure to monitor for the next three to five days to see if the pain subsides. Use ice to help alleviate pain and refrain from activity until the pain is resolved. If the issue continues or worsens, consult with an Summa pain specialist to diagnose your condition and recommend treatment.
Preventing Long-Term Muscle Pain and Injury:
During the excitement of a New Year, it can be easy to overexert yourself and your body. But, by taking a few preventative measures, you can protect muscles, avoid injury and prolong your exercise journey, allowing you to reach your fitness goals. Follow these helpful tips for preventing muscle pain and injury throughout your exercise journey:
- Stretching can be a great way to help alleviate sore muscles and pain caused by exercise. Before a workout, make sure to take 10 to 15 minutes to properly loosen up your legs, arms, and neck muscles. Do the same thing following a workout. Your body will thank you.
- Seeing a pain specialist or physical therapist regularly can also be helpful in your journey. The expert won’t only evaluate your exercises and current condition of your body, but they can also help make recommendations of how to best approach each exercise to minimize your chance of injuries.
- Finally, make sure you give your body time to build up, adjust and recover. If you’re participating in a new workout, avoid overexertion. So, rather than jumping directly into something, give your body and muscles an opportunity to adjust. You can do this by starting with less weight or volume and doing fewer reps. Additionally, give your body the proper time to recover and repair.
For more information about exercise muscle pain or to schedule an appointment with a pain specialist, visit Summa Pain Care or call (623)776-8686 today.
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