Many people who play sports find that with time, they sustain injuries. But what many people do not realize is that these injuries can turn in to something serious if they are left untreated. A common myth is that soreness should be ignored because it means you worked hard, and that minor pain will never get worse.
But this is false.
The more you exert yourself and put pressure on your muscles, the more tears you create. The more tears you create, the more soreness you will feel the next day as your body naturally rebuilds the muscle. The soreness is a result of your body getting rid of the chemical waste products from your muscles—primarily lactic acid—and the damage to the tissue.
There are two main types of soreness. The first is standard, post-workout soreness. This will happen when people push themselves during a workout and as a result, exercise and tear the muscle fibers in order for them to grow back stronger. This is a good pain, so to speak, and is quite normal. This type of muscle pain will manifest itself as a dull pain, though localized to the torn tissue. It will not necessary limit your range of motion but as you stretch and use that muscle you will feel tightness and a temporary loss of strength. This soreness can begin directly following a workout or several hours after.
The second type of soreness is strained soreness or overexerted soreness. This is typical of casual weightlifters that return and overdo the first few sets in an effort to adjust to the workout. The symptoms are the same as normal soreness but the tightness is increased and it will limit your range of motion.
Because there are two types of muscle soreness, there are two types of treatment: medical and at-home. At-home treatment options are over-the-counter remedies for normal muscle soreness. Medical treatments are for more severe soreness resulting from strain or overexertion. If you endure a strained muscle and have overexerted muscle soreness it is best that you seek medical treatment. Severe pain should be treated with additional medication to ensure that there is no major damage to the muscle tissue and that the range of motion does not remain permanently limited.
In order to reduce standard muscle soreness you can begin by stretching the sore muscles to prevent them from tightening. Doing this, in conjunction with light cardiovascular efforts, will increase the blood flow to the muscle tissue flushing out the remaining lactic acid. This can be done by gently stretching the affected region to improve blood flow. The muscles should be stretched for two to three minutes at a time. You can hold a light stretch for fifteen seconds, then rest for forty five seconds, after which you can repeat the process two additional times. This should be done to each affected area.
Another at home treatment is ice therapy. This is referred to as compression therapy. It offers immediate relief by reducing inflammation and preventing your muscles from getting damaged. When you tear your muscles fluid will built up. This fluid will reduce swelling and constrict your blood vessels. This reduces your cell metabolism and reduces the release of chemicals. To do this, you should apply an ice pack to the sore muscle. It should be held lightly against the muscle for a maximum of twenty minutes. This should be done four to eight times per day with long breaks in between in which your muscles can warm to room temperature.
Overall, it is important to take care of such injuries at home the best you can, but if the pain persists, you should meet with a Chicago pain management doctor at Premier Pain & Spine. Call today for the location closest to you!