Once you get into the habit of exercising regularly, it can become quite addictive. The feeling of reaching new fitness goals, seeing dramatic changes in your body, and growing stronger over time can make you crave more frequent exercise sessions.
However, as you increase the frequency and intensity of your workouts, you will probably experience muscle soreness. When you do, it is important to evaluate if the soreness is related to muscle growth or if it could be an injury.
Visiting our chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent is one way to get an answer, but there are also some warning signs which indicate when muscle soreness is an injury. In this guide, our Stoke Chiropractor share more information about muscle soreness.
Why Do Your Muscles Get Sore? Our Stoke Chiropractor explains …
When you perform a high-intensity workout that strains the muscles, it causes small tears in the muscle fibres. These tears are repaired by the body, making the muscle stronger and thicker. The process also improves muscular endurance.
The soreness that is experienced in the days after an intense workout is known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). DOMS is more pronounced if you:
- Perform a form of exercise that targets a muscle that doesn’t get used often
- Spend much longer working out than normal
- Exercise at a higher intensity than normal
Can You Exercise While Sore?
Many patients visit our chiropractor in Stoke on Trent each week for treatment for their sore muscles. They are often concerned that they might have an injury or that continuing to exercise will somehow damage the muscle.
In the vast majority of cases, it is safe for these patients to continue exercising at a low to moderate intensity. In fact, continuing to exercise often helps to reduce the duration of DOMS. Continuing to exercise helps by:
- Encouraging more blood flow to the affect muscles
- Assisting in lymphatic drainage
- Clearing inflammatory cells from the area
Many of the visitors to our chiropractic clinic mention that their recovery times are actually faster when they exercise while suffering from muscle soreness. Of course, the key is to only use light to moderate forms of exercise.
Although additional exercise is usually appropriate, there is always a small risk of overtraining. If you are exercising more than an hour a day, you should be mindful of the signs of overtraining, which include:
- Feelings of fatigue that don’t go away after sleep
- Constant pain in specific muscles or joints
- Resting heart rate is higher than normal
- Your performance begins to decline
- Frequent illness (a sign of a weakened immune system)
- Repetitive use injuries keep occurring
- You begin to feel mentally exhausted
If these symptoms occur, it may be time to take a week off from your training routine.
Is It An Injury?
There is a small chance that your muscle or joint pain is related to an injury. If you experience any of the symptoms below, it is advisable that you seek advice from an appropriate healthcare professional such as a chiropractor or your GP:
- Severe pain that does not subside
- Swelling of the muscle or joint
- Tingling sensation in the affected limb
- Loss of function on the affected joint
Reducing Muscle Pain
There are several techniques which you can use to reduce the impact of DOMS. They include:
Most people don’t perform adequate stretching before launching into an exercise regime. If you often suffer from muscle soreness, try spending an extra 5 or 10 minutes stretching at the start of the session.
Perform aerobic exercise between sessions
Adding some light to moderate aerobic exercise is a wonderful way to boost the healing process. Activities like walking, cycling, and swimming are particularly useful for mitigating the effects of DOMS.
Using a foam roller
A foam roller is very useful for stretching out the connective tissue that covers the muscles (called the fascia). This releases tension in the muscles and speeds up recovery.
Take it easier!
It’s always great to have fitness goals and work hard to achieve them. However, if you are just getting back into fitness, take your time. It can take several months for the body’s muscles and joints to become adjusted to regular exercise. It’s better to take a slow and steady approach than it is to suffer from extreme muscular pain or an injury.
Visit our chiropractor in Stoke on Trent
Chiropractors offer a variety of treatments which can relieve muscle tension including soft tissue therapy and myofascial release. They can also perform joint adjustments to ensure that your body is working efficiently, which takes some strain off the muscles and improves your performance.
Our chiropractor at City Chiropractic Clinic is here to help you. You can book an appointment by calling us on 01782 848 184.