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With the new year right around the corner, many of us are setting our goals and resolutions for the fresh start to come. These resolutions often include new exercise plans and fitness goals. While exercise is an incredibly important component to a healthy lifestyle, what happens if you’re experiencing pain during or after exercise? Below we walk through how to tell if your pain after movement is a problem or not.

 

Pain v. Soreness: What’s the Difference?

 

While exercise has a number of benefits, including promoting healthy bones and muscles, improving sleep, managing stress and more, you can also expect some discomfort from pushing your body more than you’re used to. But how can you tell if the discomfort you’re feeling is soreness from exercise or pain from something else entirely?

 

Muscle Soreness

 

Muscle Soreness is typically caused by using muscles that you haven’t in a long time. During exercise, your muscles experience unharmful and small tears that your body eventually fixes. Once your body repairs the tears, your muscles are stronger. Short-term muscle fatigue or soreness such as this is completely normal, and should disappear on its own after a few days.

 

The amount and intensity of your muscle soreness will vary, depending on the intensity and length of your workout. If you participate in an activity you’ve never done before or haven’t done in years (like swimming or biking), your soreness may last a bit longer as your body adapts.

 

Coping with Muscle Soreness

 

While recovering from muscle soreness caused by physical activity, keep the following tips in mind.

 

1. Give the muscles you worked time to recover. You’re much more likely to get injured if you repeat the same type and intensity of exercise too soon.
2. Keep moving until the soreness dissipates. Muscle soreness can often be improved with continuous movement. During recovery, consider trying a different exercise at a lower intensity or interval to give your body the opportunity to fully heal.
3. Vary your activity. Work out your core, legs, and arms on different days. This will allow you to keep moving and give your muscles time to rest while you work on others.

 

Pain

 

Typically, pain caused by an injury is isolated to one body part or area. Pain is also often more intense and constant than muscle soreness as well. It can keep you awake at night, and intensify upon movement. Your joints or muscles can become stiff, and it can be hard to do all the things you need to in order to stay active. Pain also changes how you move. If you notice that you’re limping or favoring one shoulder over another, you may be experiencing an injury.

 

Coping With and Managing Your Pain

 

If you’re experiencing pain after exercise, consider the following tips:

 

1. Stop doing what is causing the pain. Ice can also help provide short-term relief from inflammation and discomfort.
2. Do not attempt to ‘push through the pain.’ This can actually worsen the problem and lead to greater injury.
3. Seek help from a certified physician. If your pain isn’t subsiding after seven to ten days, it may be time for you to seek professional assistance. A doctor can help evaluate your symptoms, diagnose the problem and provide you treatment options. It’s the quickest way to get back to the joys of your life and away from debilitating pain.

 

Chronic Pain Houston: Minivasive Pain and Orthopedics

 

At Minivasive Pain, we have a dedicated staff of pain management specialists. It is our mission to treat the causes of your pain with both the highest standards of care and quality. With several pain management centers throughout the Houston area, caring for your pain is what we do every day. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, visit https://minivasivepain.com/contact-us/ or call us at (346) 800-6001.