Muscle Pain after Workout

The occurrence of muscle pain a day or two after the initial workout or exercise is not unusual, and it generally disappears on its own with sufficient rest.

One generally tends to indulge in a workout or exercising to get strong muscles and also avoid becoming fat. However, starting out on a physical regimen can be quite taxing on the beginners, with the occurrence of a number of symptoms such as muscle pain, stiffness and soreness that develop a day or two after commencing on the workout program.

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The development of muscle pain after workout is normally known as DOMS or delayed onset of muscle soreness. This type of muscle pain varies from the kind of soreness that one experiences while exercising, or the acute pain that accompanies a sprain or a muscle strain. One may normally develop DOMS 24 to 48 hours after indulging in a workout regimen.

Causes of muscle pain after workout

  • The exact cause of muscle pain after workout is still unknown. However, research indicates that there is breakdown of the muscle fibers at the time of exercising, workout or engaging in extreme physical activities. This can result in the formation of tiny tears in the muscles fibers a day or two after the initial physical program. The pain may be experienced along with inflammation of the muscle tissues which can result in muscle pain after workout.
  • The degree of muscle tissue tearing and the eventual development of muscle pain after workout are dependent on various factors such as the intensity of the exercise regimen and its type. In most cases, a workout regimen that involves eccentric muscle contractions, particularly those exercises that result in forceful contraction at the time of muscle stretching, have been known to increasing result in muscle pain and soreness in the legs and other areas of the body.
  • It is important to know that such tearing of the muscle is what allows them to grow larger and become stronger. But the accompanying pain can be most discomforting and distressing.

Treatment of muscle pain after workout

  • The two most common ways to treat muscle pain after workout include application of an ice pack and gentle massaging of the affected areas. The inflammation and muscle pain can be alleviated with a hot or cold compress or an ice pack. One can massage the affected muscles just after the workout or a few hours after exercising
  • Severe cases of muscle pain after workout can be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
  • It is also important to remember that one should take adequate rest post development of muscle pain after workout, to avoid aggravating the condition. One can however, avoid muscle stiffness by engaging in light swimming, walking and other light physical activities. Strenuous and intense exercises should be avoided once muscle pain after workout resolves. Instead one can start out with simple workouts and then slowly progress to the more extreme versions.
  • One can avoid the development of muscle pain after working by engaging in warm-up and gentle stretching exercises before starting out on the workout program.
  • If the muscle pain after workout does not resolve after a few days of rest and if the pain and inflammation become severe, then it is important to consult a doctor to check for the presence of sprains or muscle injuries.
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