How do I know the Difference between muscle soreness and pain/injury?
Muscle soreness is normal part of exercising. Knowing the difference between pain and soreness is not always clear.
If the pain begins during or immediately after the exercise, it is not normal. Pain that occurs during an exercise is a sign that there is a problem with the exercise. This type of pain should be seen as a signal from your body to stop the activity before serious joint or muscle damage occurs.
What is Muscle soreness?
It is the stress on muscles when you exercise. You might have heard the terms DOMS(Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness) – this usually begins within 6-8 hours post activity and can last 24 – 72 hours.
Why does it occur?
During exercise, as you stress the muscles, fibers (contained within muscles) break down causing muscle soreness. With time, these fibers repair themselves and become stronger. This is the normal process for muscles to get stronger.
What are the likely reasons for muscle soreness?
- Starting an exercise or workout program for the very first time
- Adding a new activity or exercise to your workout
- Increasing the intensity of an exercise already in your program (increasing the amount of weight lifted, number of repetitions, speed or distance)
- Performing the same activity over and over again without a sufficient rest break
Does everyone experience muscle soreness?
Yes. Even professional athletes will experience it. Mild to moderate muscle soreness is generally common, harmless, positive and nothing to be afraid of. On the other hand, severe muscle soreness could be a potential injury
How do I know the difference between muscle soreness and pain?
- If the pain you’re experiencing prevents you from carrying out daily activities associated with living or working, then the exercise was too much.
- If the discomfort lasts for more than 72 hours, then the exercise was too much.
- If the pain begins during or immediately after the exercise, it is not normal. Pain that occurs during an exercise is a sign that there is a problem with the exercise. This type of pain should be seen as a signal from your body to stop the activity before serious joint or muscle damage occurs.
What can I do to relieve muscle soreness?
- Perform some gentle movement/stretches. This helps with improved blood circulation.
- Warm bath may also help to ease the discomfort temporarily
If you require help, make sure you find a local expert who has your needs front of mind.