Whether performed as a means to reduce stress, to lose weight or to gain muscle, many of us enjoy a high-intensity training session at the gym from time to time. Of course, we will often experience sore muscles after a particularly challenging routine and this is completely natural. Our muscles require time to heal after being pushed to their limits. However, it is still important to appreciate the differences between “good” pain and signs that you may have actually caused an injury. Let us take a look at both scenarios so that you can know when to say when.
Common Muscular Aches and Pains
Muscle soreness tends to occur anywhere between 12 and 24 hours after a training session has been completed. This pain is characterized by a certain amount of stiffness and it may be difficult to move a muscle without experiencing a mild level of discomfort. However, the main takeaway point is that this pain will abate with time; particularly if you remain active. The intensity of the soreness will depend upon several factors including the muscle that was trained, how accustomed it is to being overworked and its size. For example, an intense leg workout will normally produce more soreness when compared to a smaller muscle group such as the biceps. The main takeaway point is that this pain is transient and it should lessen over time. In the majority of cases, you will be able to train the same body part within 48 to 72 hours. If you find that the stiffness is still uncomfortable, it may be possible to take an alternative painkliller such as CBD oil between sessions.
Signs of a Strain, Pull or Tear
However, there are other scenarios which could signal that you have done some real damage. Any localised sensation of burning or “hot pins” may indicate that you have experienced a muscle tear or damaged connective tissue (such as a ligament or a tendon).
In many cases, the sensations felt above will be accompanied by a moderate level of swelling due to ruptured blood vessels and capillaries beneath the skin. If you happen to tear a muscle, you could also notice bruising around the localised area. In any of these situations, it is wise to seek medical attention. This will help to determine the extent of the injury as well as if you require any type of surgical intervention.
Knowing When to Take a Step Back
Training with too much intensity (overtraining) can be a concern when performing any type of sporting activity. This is why it is crucial to learn the differences between common muscular soreness and signs that damage has been done. Of course, seeking the advice of a medical professional is the best strategy if you feel that you may have hurt yourself.
Never continue to train under such circumstances, as you could exacerbate the injury even further. As always, being able to listen to what your body has to say is the best way to avoid more serious situations.