It Hurts When I Exercise. Should I Stop?
Short answer, No!
This is something I came across quite a lot over the years working as a Personal Trainer. Most often I would be asked if it was bad for your back to be sore after exercise. There is a simple way of looking at this.
Did you ever wake up the day after a gym session or fitness class and your legs were like jelly and your muscles were burning? How did you feel about this? For me, it was always a sense of satisfaction and achievement.
Now don’t get me wrong, I would probably spend the day complaining that I’m sore, but I’m in a good mood and feel good about myself. It never made me feel like I should stop exercising because it’s hurting my legs.
Without knowing much anything about the science of exercise, most people know their muscles are sore because they are getting stronger. Your muscles essentially tear themselves to repair themselves and become stronger. As you get further into a routine of exercise, you get to the stage where you aren’t as sore the following day as when you started.
Your back is no different. If your back is sore after fitness training, it’s because your back is getting stronger and healthier. Sometimes the pain in the back is more irritating than the legs and more focused on one sore spot. The reason for this is, you have much more smaller muscles in your back than in your leg.
So, when you exercise your back, these muscles will become tired quicker than those in your legs. The muscle pain is focused in a precise spot where all these muscles are attached to the spine or pelvis. Just like in your legs, if you continue your training programme for a few days, this pain will become less and less as you become fitter and stronger.
If you are only starting a training programme, you may need to give yourself extra recovery time. Instead of training every second day, maybe have 2 days rest between sessions. But on these days off, don’t completely rest. Go for a walk or cycle, go for a swim, play in the garden with your kids, walk the dog. This will help you to loosen up and help the pain to go away. Sitting on the couch for the day feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t work, I know because I’ve tried it.
A safe option if you are starting a training routine or changing your type of training is to seek the help of a Physical Therapist or Massage Therapist. Massage can help after the training to loosen those muscles up and free up that muscle pain quicker.
A consultation with a Physical Therapist can help you decide what exercises are best to use in your training programme. It will also help to prevent muscle pain the following day and to make sure you don’t pick up any unwanted injury.
Why not get in touch with us here in Pain Relief Limerick and organise a FREE Consultation. We can discuss how we can help you achieve your goals faster and reduce the risk of injury.