Muscle soreness after exercise is usually experienced by people who exercise after a period of not doing it, have recently increased the intensity of exercise, or tried a new type of exercise.
In medical terms, muscle pain and stiffness that occurs after exercise is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS. This muscle pain usually appears within 24-48 hours after exercising with a high enough intensity, such as jogging, aerobics, or lifting weights.
This condition can cause complaints of mild to severe muscle pain, muscle stiffness, aches, slight swelling of the muscles, and a temporary decrease in muscle strength. If the muscles are rested, the complaints of pain and stiffness will usually improve more quickly.
Causes of Muscle Pain After Exercise
After strenuous physical activity or exercise, muscle soreness can occur when the body’s muscle tissue tries to adapt to repair and increase muscle mass. This reaction is actually a normal thing to happen.
Although the exact mechanism is not known, several studies have concluded that pain can result from:
- Lactic acid buildup as a result of muscle metabolism
- Minor injury to the muscles
- Damage to connective tissue and muscles
- Inflammation of the muscles
- Changes in electrolyte and enzyme levels in muscles
People who rarely warm up or don’t warm up properly before exercising have a higher risk of developing sore muscles.
Who Gets Muscle Pain?
Anyone can experience muscle pain, including those who have been doing fitness for years and sports athletes are no exception. Muscle pain itself can be a scourge for beginners who are new to the world of fitness.
This can make them feel cured and their enthusiasm for fitness can be reduced. However, you will experience less pain if you are accustomed to doing the exercises. Muscle soreness is part of the adaptation process to increase post-recovery muscle stamina and strength.
How to Prevent Muscle Pain?
One of the best ways to prevent muscle soreness is to start a new exercise program gradually. Allow the muscles you train to adapt to the new movement to help minimize pain.
There is evidence that heating is effective enough to prevent sore muscles. However, warming up before training can reduce your risk of injury and improve your performance.
Can You Exercise While Still Experiencing Muscle Pain?
You can do the exercises even if you still have muscle pain. The pain or soreness will disappear when you exercise, but will feel back afterward. If the pain makes training difficult, then it’s best to refrain from taking the exercise until the pain subsides. Or, you can do exercises that focus on targeting muscles that are not affected by the pain you are experiencing.
Muscle aches are muscle conditioning, this means that your muscles are adapting to a new activity. If you do the same exercise or with the same intensity, the damage to muscle tissue is reduced, muscle pain will only feel mild, and recovery is fast.