Dealing with Muscle Pain

Muscle pain caused by delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can be a good sign that you are getting all that you can out of your workouts. It can also be a sign that you are performing weight training exercises and routines improperly.

Ensuring Correct Form While Performing Exercises

Always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Get an initial health assessment.

  • Consulting a physiologist or personal trainer and have them demonstrate the exercises and supervise you for a session or two.
  • Use mirrors so that you can see if you are arching your back to little or too much, bending your knees improperly, etc.
  • Following a good routine is helpful but don’t be afraid to modify it to fit your physical abilities.
  • If a particular exercise does not feel comfortable try exercises the same muscle group with a different exercise. There are several ways to train on a set of muscles.
  • Adding a stretching routine to increase flexibility will decrease the risk of injury and give you a better range of motion when performing exercises.

Muscle Pain or Muscle Injury?

  • Being aware of your body will help you best determine if you have are experiencing normal muscle soreness or if you have an injury.
  • Typically muscle pain caused from exercise will subside after a day or two and usually only hurts when you flex that muscle group.
  • If muscle pain restricts you from doing daily activities and lasts longer than a few days, it may be a sign of a more serious injury.
  • The first time you try a new exercise, you may experience significant soreness. As your body adjusts to the stress of weight training you will notice less soreness over time.
  • It is not necessary to experience muscle pain after every workout to reap the benefits of your program. You will need “easy days” to give your muscles a chance to repair themselves. However, do not shy away from muscle soreness. It will help you achieve your goals.
  • If the pain lasts longer than a few days and is more than slightly uncomfortable, you may have an injury, lifting weights that are too heavy, using poor form, or working out the same muscle group for too many consecutive days.

Muscle Pain, Now What?

  • If you suspect and injury consult your doctor as soon as possible and discontinue your exercise program until you get your doctors consent.
  • If your muscle pain is caused by delayed onset muscle soreness, there are a few things you can do to aid in your recovery.
    • Do stretching exercises a couple of times a day.
    • Work different muscle groups each session. One day upper body, the next lower body, the next abs, and back.
    • Stretch well after weight training.
    • Get a deep tissue massage

In weight training and muscle building muscle pain or soreness is a good sign that you are making progress and challenging yourself. However, being cautious, doing exercises properly, and listening to warning signs will help you to stay safe.