Post-workout aches and muscle pain can represent a warning sign, or they can be the signal of a good workout. How do you tell the difference? It’s normal to have a dull ache in the muscles used after a workout – but pain for four days? Exercise causes microscopic tears in muscle fibers, and as they heal they become stronger. However, discomfort can also be a sign that the muscle has been pushed too hard. Does the muscle typically feel better by the next day, as in a full 24 hours later? Mild soreness means you challenged your muscles and use them in a new way. Are you still groaning 48 hours later?
Delayed onset muscle soreness can result in isolated muscle aches that typically peak a day or two after a tough workout; this is not necessarily a reason to stress. You can use a foam roller to work out kinks and increase the blood flow; we can show you how to do this and even have the rollers for you. If you have a concern, come in and we can massage you out and adjust any restrictions created by the spasm. If you’re still having an issue, it’s time for some I-C-E – this stands for Ice, Compression, maybe Elevation. To help reduce inflammation, ice achy muscles for at least 10 minutes every few hours – with instructions we can give you in the clinic – and then wrap a compression by bandage around your sore muscles, and elevating the sore body part.
Apply heat? NO – this could actually prolong your recovery! Realistically speaking, it’s probably time for a clinic appointment, so that you don’t lose valuable time. Is there discoloration or swelling? Significant swelling or discoloration – like unexplained redness – could be signs of an injury. If you can’t put weight or pressure on the effected muscle groups, that’s a solid concern – it’s time to call us. After three days, and after icing one more time, if there is discoloration or swelling, or by the fourth day – it’s definitely time to make an appointment at Blue Heron Chiropractic.