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Do you know what a good exercise program should look like so that you do not get muscle soreness? With professional support, you can certainly master this challenge. Of course, with all due care, you can not wholly avoid pain, especially in the beginning.
You have hard training behind you and wake up the next morning with aching muscles. Everywhere you feel these nasty little stitches that hurt. Some people regard muscle soreness as a reward after a hard workout. They think they have adequately trained. That is wrong.
I can still remember correctly my first muscle soreness, which was “unfortunately” on the stomach. I could not get up the way I used to; it all hurt. I had to lie to my side and get one leg after the other out of bed. Otherwise, I would not have come up.
In this chapter, I’ll explore the causes of muscle soreness, the anatomy of tissue damage, and healing.
What is muscle soreness, and what are its causes?
After participating in a strenuous physical training session, you may experience muscle soreness, especially if you are training muscles that you have never or rarely loaded before.
“During training, muscles are under stress,” says Rick Sharp, a professor of motion physiology at Iowa State University in Ames.
“Mild pain is just a natural consequence of any physical activity,” he says. “And they are most common in the early stages of a program.”
Sore muscles after physical activity, referred to as delayed sore muscles (DOMS). It can occur when you start a new exercise program, change your exercise routine, or increase the duration/intensity of your workout.
If you train your muscles too hard, microscopic injuries occur in the muscle tissue. That leads to sore muscles and muscle stiffness.
Many people falsely believe that lactic acid was responsible. Lactic acid is not involved in this process.
So, what causes sore muscles?
The cause of the muscle soreness is tiny cracks (micro-injuries) in the muscle fibers, more precisely in the muscle fibrils. Unfamiliar movement patterns usually cause injuries.
It can tear muscle fibers. In the effort of the body to repair the damage, tiny sources of inflammation arise. Water enters the tissues and forms small fluid accumulations, so-called edemas. These make the muscle swell.
This swelling of the muscle is due to an influx of white anti-inflammatory blood cells. The self-healing power of the body is activated to repair the “damage.”
In addition to the pain, there are other symptoms (weakness, stiffness, and sensitivity to touch) that affect one’s physical well-being. The discomfort usually occurs within 12 to 24 hours of training, peaking after 24 to 72 hours, and should disappear within no more than eight days at the latest.
Sore muscles: when to the doctor?
You usually do not have to go to the doctor with muscle soreness. However, it becomes questionable when:
• The sore muscles do not disappear after ten days at the latest
• You can not explain the aching muscles by too much exercise and exercise
In these cases, there is no guarantee that a harmless sore muscle only causes muscle aches. There are many other, and sometimes severe, causes of aching muscles. Therefore, in unclear cases, a doctor’s visit is advisable.
How can I treat DOMS?
Previously, to accelerate healing and prevent DOMS, intake of protein, fats, and carbohydrates was sufficient. That can positively contribute to overall recovery but has no real impact on pain relief.
In the case of muscle soreness, the damaged muscle fibers regenerate themselves without any consequential damage remaining.
That happens within a few days: on the first or second day after exercise, soreness is worst; at the latest, after seven to ten days, the pain should then have subsided again.
Tips for curing DOMS:
1. Active recovery session
We’ve read this for the first time in Chad Waterbury: His recommendation is to pick 20% of your maximum and do two sets of 40-50 reps for partial reps in the middle range.
The goal is to flush blood through the affected muscles.
2. Get your post-workout shake in
Protein is significant, and the timing seems to make a difference when it comes to DOMS. You can also put in glutamine and BCAA, with several other benefits.
3. Stay hydrated
We do not have to convince you of the advantages of water, although surprisingly, it does not seem to affect DOMS.
Running is a great way to flush blood into the muscle. Do it fast to get a fat loss bump too.
Take no caffeine the day after exercise. It has been shown to improve the strength of muscle soreness in addition to relieving pain.
6. contrast baths/showers
Other studies showed that at least in trained athletes, cold water baths, or alternating hot and cold water baths. Only performance recovery before you started to fill the tub with ice.
7. Exercise again
If you have a few days off and then have a heavy session, you can often have more pain than usual. Paradoxically, the pain subsides when we do high-frequency training (training between 6 and 10 times a week)
Pears (repeated combat effect).
8. Eat more, sleep more
Sometimes, when you’re sore all the time, you did not eat enough up the Protein & Carbohydrates.
Take a sufficient amount of rest. Sleep about 7-9 hours helps to relieve sore muscles.
9. Fascia stretching before/after training
Fibrous extensions help with sore muscles before and after exercise. But go with these. Stretching feels good, but if you overdo it, if you are already hurt, this may increase the DOMS after some data.
10. foam rollers/massage
Finally, with the weakest evidence base (and the least fun), foam rollers are 2 hours after training, or better yet, a sports massage. The basic principle is that it can break some of the mechanisms that trigger DOMS.
11. Ice for muscle soreness
Applying ice has been shown to reduce the perceived pain but not to muscle recovery and to hinder it in the long term. Ming Chew also advises against the ice to avoid fascia restrictions.
In the case of muscle soreness, the damaged muscle fibers regenerate themselves without any consequential damage remaining. That happens within a few days: on the first or second day after exercise, soreness is worst; at the latest, after seven to ten days, the pain should then have subsided again.
What can even lead to tissue damage?
Tissue damage can occur after unexpected events such as
• A sprain
• tendon tear
• Traumatic events (car accident)
• You have a risk of injury with every activity.
If you notice a change externally to you, such as a dent or a new gap, that means you have a muscle tear or a tissue loss. In medicine, these “wounds” are also called lesions, defects, scars, or damages.
How do muscles heal and recover from injuries?
Muscles heal differently than bones.
The bone tissue heals with the supply of minerals and other components of the bone. The new bond is as strong or stronger than the original bone structure.
Your injured muscles do not heal with muscle tissue, but with “foreign” substances. The injured scar tissue is weaker, less elastic, and prone to re-injury.
The usual treatment for muscle injuries should be rest. But too much rest can also be counterproductive. The muscle tissue needs a certain amount of movement when it heals, and when not in use, it starts to atrophy.
A drug relieves only the pain and suppresses the fiery sensation. The symptoms are not the most important thing, but to heal the injury is essential. Medicines can slow down the healing process.
What a muscle needs to heal is enough time
The repair process creates a “stain” of random scar tissue fibers. Imagine a chain in which a weak link is. That’s in a muscle fiber this patch repaired. This random orientation of the new fibers makes them susceptible to re-injury.
This scar tissue must be aligned in this injured muscle and integrated into the muscle fibers. Then the muscle fibers regain maximum strength and flexibility.
How Muscle Damage Maximizes Bodybuilding Progress?
Many bodybuilders suffer from localized muscle aches. The pain they feel after exercise can give valuable feedback on whether the training was right to achieve optimal muscle mass gains.
Strength training novices should be aware that muscle pain through hard workouts is part of their sport. This pain can even radiate into a joint and give the impression that connective tissue damage has occurred.
The task of the coach
Your trainer should inform you in advance that such pain is indeed a sign of your progress.
The main goal of good trainers is to ensure that your muscles adjust to the planned training content between sessions. To prevent chronic damaging muscle damage and minimize further pain.
Prolonged pain may be because you can not correctly recover between workouts, and the breaks are too short.
It is the structural changes caused by actual muscle damage. They create the conditions for the growth of more muscle mass.
However, your muscles will gradually adapt to your training efforts over time. To make further progress, you must prevent this process by increasing the intensity of the workout.
A way to do this is by increasing the weight, varying repetitions and sets, adding new exercises, improving the technique, or incorporating intensity techniques such as rest/pause and supersets.
When and where can muscle soreness still occur?
Sore muscles during exhaustion and inflammation
A rarer form of muscle soreness is fatigue. The cracks in the muscle fibrils arose when the metabolism was long and intensively required, for example, by a marathon.
The lack of energy causes damage in the cell. The repair process causes inflammation. The potential consequence is muscle soreness.
Muscle soreness due to epileptic spasms and medication
Sore muscles also cause epileptic seizures and certain muscle-relaxing drugs (muscle relaxants). These drugs are used to induce anesthesia. They cause subtle muscle contractions that can lead to muscle soreness.
Conclusion of muscle soreness:
We’ve determined what muscle damage is and why it’s needed. When we exercise while our muscles are painful, we can over-train and reduce our training progress over time.
However, by speeding up the healing process, we can shorten the time in which muscle pain occurs, and thereby transform muscle microtrauma into muscle-building results. We have to tear down our muscles to rebuild them, get bigger and stronger.