Pain is a constant companion to those who choose to have an active lifestyle and engage their physical bodies with sports, martial arts, or other things that requires a lot of high-intensity body movements.
The pain is mostly due to sore muscles when you do physically strenuous activity. This is part of the process of strengthening and improving your muscles. The painful part is most common when you're doing something new. Now, the age-old saying “No Pain, No Gain” suddenly makes sense because improvement comes with pain (or, at least, discomfort), literally speaking!
What is DOMS?
The acronym stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Experts in exercise science refer to this soreness as happening over a period between 24 to 48 hours after physical movement or activity resulting in pain. This is due to activities that your muscle is not used to.
An example of this is when you go for a jog and suddenly decide to push yourself to go even faster or further. After running you don’t feel anything, but then the next day, you can’t even get out of bed! At this point, you know you pushed too hard, and it is DOMS that you are experiencing.
This is common in martial arts, too. Whenever you push a bit too far during your training, you might experience some discomfort the following days. Maybe, post competition or testing you find you can’t even put soap on your back! The symptoms you need to be aware of are stiffness, limited range of motion, muscle tightness, feeling of swelling, fatigue, and muscle weakness.
Beginners’ Muscle Soreness
If you are starting with a newsport or workout, there may be pain involved as you introduce your body to such activities. There is a good chance that once you’vestarted, you’ll have a hard time getting up the next day due to muscle fatigue.
A piece of important advice to heed: don’t quit! If you have done the training properly or under the supervision of an instructor, trainer, or coach, the pain should go away, giving way for your muscle strength to increase.
Many beginners quit because of the pain they experience after being hyped up with all the home training and sports exercise available out there. Once they push themselves through a single workout routine, they either slack off, go back to the beginning, or worst - quit.
Experts believe that your body needs to adapt to such activities that are newly introduced to your body. These sensations should not stop you from doing physical activities since it is beneficial to both your physical and mental state. It’s best to give your body a few weeks to adapt before you think about calling it quits.
Sores and Bruises through Contact Sports
Contact sports and martial arts like Karate, Taekwondo and boxing can give you more soreness compared to those who are practicing non-contact sports. Most training is done with higher physicality and intensity. Strikes, open hand punches, and kicks are done with force directly towards an opponent’s body and your muscles are receiving that contact.
There are times after sparring when swelling and redness may occur, and this is because of the punches and kicks that your body received from the training. This means that your body is healing itself. Though this type of injury is common and less serious, experts advise to avoid getting hit in the same area or spot in your body for the next training sessions to let you recover.
Pain Alert: What to Do?
Recovery is an important part of every sport and workout regime. The body has a unique way of healing itself to be better, faster, and stronger the next time you expose yourself to strenuous activities. It is also a way to prepare itself to receive blows and stress since it needs to adapt to your activities. Though at times, for those who are passionate about their training and exercise goals, time to recover is often neglected which causes the body to experience greater stress and even injury.
Sleeping is the body’s natural way of repairing damaged cells and tissues. It balances the body’s hormones to make sure that muscle protein synthesis is high. A good 7-9 hours a day can give the body a chance to recover.
When you consume too much sugar, fast foods, and carbohydrates, this becomes counterproductive to your recovery. Too much of these things can lead to diabetes, chronic diseases, and organ problems. It will also prevent your body from cell recovery. To avoid this, maintain a healthy and nutritious diet to help your cells regenerate. Prioritizing your macronutrients can be a good start in eliminating non-nutritious foods.
There are a handful of options for remedies available to address DOMS or muscle-related pains. As one study notes, several remedies such asrest, massage, heat, walking, and stretching can boost physical recovery.
Pain from Injury: How to Differentiate
If pain or soreness persists in an escalating level, then you need to schedule an appointment with your doctor. This means that your body can’t cope and recover with the injury you incurred. To know if you need the help of a physician, look for severe pain that lasts for more than three days, inability to move, or fever which can be a sign of infection.
Don’t get discouraged by muscle soreness that can cause pain after your training. Understanding its role for you to have better well-being can give you the advantage of developing your physiology in your sport or activity of choice. Pain may be a constant companion that you can use to your advantage!