Muscle pain after exercise is an annoying, but also useful reaction of your body. Because of the development of muscle pain, you get the signal that you must take a step back to protect your muscles against overload. There are two types of muscle pain: acute and delayed muscle pain. You feel acute muscle pain immediately: when you are exercising or just after. Delayed muscle pain is usually only noticed after a day and is often at its worst after two days. Common are muscle pain in the thighs, muscle pain in the calves, muscle pain in the lower back and muscle pain in the neck.
What causes muscle pain?
Muscle pain therefore exists to ensure that you do not go over your physical limits, but at the same time that is usually the cause of muscle pain. Of course, you can also feel pain in your muscles if you’ve caught the flu or bruised a body part, but muscle soreness after exercise or other strenuous exercise (e.g. gardening or lifting heavy things) is a sign of overload. Mild overload causes tiny tears in your muscle fibers, resulting in stiffness and a nagging pain that gets worse with exertion.
Is muscle pain a good sign?
Muscle pain is in most cases the sign that your body is getting stronger! Often the pain is not that bad. Normally, the small tears in your muscles heal on their own, and the muscles recover stronger than they were before. This applies to muscle pain that is the result of sport or exercise. If you still have pain after three days and can’t exercise normally, your muscles may have been damaged too much. A muscle may be inflamed or torn, such as with whiplash (an acute muscle tear in your calf or hamstring). The pain could also be from a bruise, sprain, or fracture. Consult a doctor if pain persists.
How can you prevent muscle soreness?
To avoid muscle soreness, a light warm-up before the real effort starts is essential. Don’t try to rush or struggle through your sports session just to get rid of it, but build up your training slowly. In addition, lubricate your muscles with a protective balm from our Sportsbalm Warming Series. This balm provides long-lasting warmth, protection and blood flow to your muscles and tendons. That way, your muscles are well warmed up and your blood is flowing by the time you put them under maximum strain, reducing the chance of muscle soreness. This is essential, especially in cold and wet weather conditions! On warmer days, our Muscle Oils are a good choice to prepare your muscles. Are you done with the intensive part of your training? Then gradually relax your muscles by means of a cool-down. Sufficient rest, healthy food and plenty of water to drink will also help your muscles to recover properly.
You still have muscle pain: what to do?
You wake up and you feel it right away: your muscles feel sore and cramped. Maybe you pushed yourself a little too far. How can you reduce muscle soreness? We would like to give a few tips to relieve muscle pain.
Tip 1: Take your rest
First, it is important to rest. So don’t start exercising again immediately if you have muscle pain, but give your body time to heal. This prevents the cracks from getting bigger instead of smaller. It is often not necessary to avoid every activity, but make sure that the strain on your muscles is limited.
Tip 2: Optimize the blood flow in your muscles
It also helps to optimize the blood flow to your muscle tissue to promote recovery and to soothe muscle soreness. You do this by taking a warm bath or shower, and then rubbing your muscles with a special lotion or gel for muscle recovery. This way you will be fit and flexible as soon as possible!