Discomfort is a natural part of working out, but it can be difficult to decide when that pain is stemming from an workout injury. For those that are on the path to a healthier lifestyle, read ahead for some tips that you can use to help you interpret any pain or discomfort that you are feeling.
Discomfort is a Part of Getting Stronger
Anyone who has ever played an active sport or hit the gym knows that discomfort is an inherent part of exercising. Feeling absolutely no discomfort is a sign that you are not getting stronger or becoming healthier. The key is to understand when that pain is actually telling your body that you are injured. If the pain is very localized and keeps persisting, you may want to get it checked out. General aches and pains throughout the body, however, are common after a workout.
DOMS and Lactic Acid
While you are exercising, the burning feeling in your muscles comes from lactic acid. Lactic acid floods the body when it is attempting to make energy for the muscles as quickly as possible. That burning feeling in your muscles and lungs is generally safe and not does not cause any permanent damage. DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness) is the dull ache you feel 24 to 36 hours after a workout. Much like the burning from lactic acid, this type of discomfort is usually safe and should be expected. Studies have recently shown us that light exercise is the best way to treat DOMS. Be sure to take it easy if it doesn’t improve so you can give your body some time to rest.
Signs You Need to Stop and Get Help
Outside of DOMS and a buildup of lactic acid, you should typically not feel any severe pain while training. Sharp pain around joints or muscles is a clear sign that you are injured or nearing an injury. You should also be wary of any unusual problems with your senses or cognitive skills. Those who immediately lose strength in an area of their body or cannot put weight on one of their limbs should stop training and contact a physician.
There is no surefire way to prevent 100 percent of injuries, but a little preparation will prevent a vast majority of problems. This begins with a good meal and plenty of water before every single workout session. Proper stretching is an absolute must and should be carried out before and after every training session. You should also attempt to exercise all major muscle groups as lopsided muscles will increase your risk of an injury. If you have existing or previous injuries, be sure to work with experts like those at Town Center Orthopaedic Associates. It’s important to understand your limitations and goals when it comes to specific injuries.
In the end, you want to listen to your body and always err on the side of caution when it comes to your health. Talk to a medical expert and slow down your workout if you feel that something isn’t right. By taking care of a problem early, you can be on your way to better workouts in the future while lowering your risk of injuries.