Clinique Chiropratique du Pontiac

ACHES AND PAINS

The New Year always comes with its share of good resolutions. For many, this includes an intensive training program. In 2010, are you ready for any kind of torture to get back into shape? Not so fast! The aches and pains caused by a poorly planned return to exercise could discourage you sooner than you think. Don’t let them get the better of your good will.

WHAT IS MUSCLE SORENESS?

Muscle soreness is a pronounced pain in the muscles that peaks 24 to 48 hours after a training session that is too intense, new or not adapted to your physical condition. You may feel soreness when you’re resting, but the pain will be much more pronounced if you’re moving and your muscles are being used.

THE CAUSES
Generally speaking, aches and pains disappear on their own within seven days or so. But they are oh, so painful to endure!

The pain is caused by inflammation of the muscle. Muscle micro-trauma, leading to damage of the muscle fibres, can also occur during intense and unusual exertion. Sustained muscular work produces metabolic waste products that lodge in the muscle, often leading to pain.

Some types of muscular exercise cause soreness more easily than others. Inadequate preparation is usually at the root of the problem. If you go back to the gym after several months of inactivity, you’re likely to be the first to suffer… and the first to give up training out of discouragement! In a fit of motivation, we often tend to overestimate our physical capabilities. Beware of your good will: it can play tricks on you!

Most of the time, aches and pains are harmless, but they can lead to more serious problems, such as bursitis or tendonitis. Overtraining, poor preparation or a sudden contraction of a muscle that hasn’t been used for a long time leaves you vulnerable.

Bursitis manifests itself as marked swelling, often in the shoulder, hip or elbow, while tendonitis reduces the range of motion of the affected area. Moving your limbs will be very painful, if not impossible. These two neuromusculoskeletal conditions are among the most widespread in the population.

Taking up a new physical activity when your body isn’t in top form can be the cause of a great deal of discomfort. Have your neuro-musculoskeletal system and joints checked by your health care professional before embarking on a new exercise program.

HOW TO PREVENT MUSCLE SORENESS?

Don’t exert yourself for too long. The duration of exercise should be carefully planned with a professional, according to your health condition.
Before each training session, stretch the muscles you wish to strengthen. Repeat the stretching exercise at the end.
Beyond warming up and stretching, it’s important to respect your limits. It’s very important to gradually increase the degree of difficulty of your routine. Don’t do more than your body demands.
Ask a competent person to guide you in the correct posture for your exercises. A wrong move could be dangerous.
As your workout draws to a close, gradually ease back into it. Stopping your routine too drastically could cause muscle soreness.
Drink plenty of water. This prevents the loss of mineral salts, essential for your muscles during exercise.

Sore muscles are an integral part of any sporting activity. Even top athletes fall prey to them! That’s no reason to put your good resolutions on the back burner. Get moving, it’s healthy!

HOW DO YOU GET RID OF MUSCLE PAIN?

Rest your muscles for at least two days before resuming your training routine.
Move slowly. Aches and pains will disappear more quickly if your muscles are in motion than if they are static. Swim, walk, cycle a little.
Massage sore muscles.
Take a hot bath: the heat relaxes the muscles.