How to Treat Pain After Working Out

Whether you signed up at a new gym, invested in equipment to work out at home, or simply vowed to dust off those running shoes hiding in the back of your closet, the temptation to dive into a new routine and start a transformation can sometimes make people overzealous – which can lead to some serious aches and pains.

While some muscle soreness is your body’s way of adapting to new exercise, other aches and pains can be a warning sign that you’ve done too much, too soon, and are at risk for injury. How can you tell the difference, and what is the best way to feel better, fast?

Your workouts should be challenging but not painful. And no matter where you are at in your fitness journey, it’s important to know when to stop pushing yourself.

Below we look at muscle soreness and pain, how to know when to stop, and an easy way to relieve post-workout pain.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

So you crushed your workout yesterday – congratulations! But today, you’re not feeling quite so elated. Your muscles ache in places you didn’t know you had muscles. What’s going on?

Delayed onset muscle soreness is the name for muscle aches and pains that crop up one to two days after you’ve engaged in an intense or unfamiliar workout session.  It’s the result of tiny tears in your muscle fibers, which trigger an inflammatory response. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, these are the main symptoms of DOMS you may experience:

  • Muscle pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness of the joint, along with reduced range of motion
  • Tenderness when touching the sore muscle
  • Temporary weakness of the muscle

Usually, DOMS will resolve on its own within a matter of days. The more you engage in physical activity, the less you will experience DOMS. This also means that your muscles are getting stronger.

When is Muscle Soreness Something More?

While muscle soreness is normal after a new or intense workout, it’s also important to know when your aches and pains are a sign of something more serious. You should always heed what your body is trying to tell you. 

What are the signs that your discomfort is more than just DOMS?

    1. Typical soreness will set in roughly 12 to 24 hours after your workout. An actual injury, however, will start to hurt immediately

    2. DOMS will fade after one to three days. Pain from an injury will persist and potentially even worsen.

    3. Soreness feels dull and achy but shouldn’t prevent you from going about your day. With an injury, the pain is more likely to feel sharp or shooting and may amplify with specific movements that engage the injured body part.

    4. DOMS may come with some slight swelling, but an injury can cause visible inflammation and redness.

Finally, an injury will also tend to be localized to the body part that is hurt, while soreness tends to be more widespread over a broader area of the body (sharp pain in your ankle, for example, as opposed to sore legs overall.) 

What if you can’t tell the difference?

The bottom line with pain is this: if you feel that something is amiss, it’s always better to play it safe and seek the advice of a medical professional than to keep pushing forward. You know your body best; listen to what it is telling you.

It’s important to listen to your body’s cues so you can tell the difference between normal aches and pains, and a more severe injury.

How to Treat Pain and Soreness

Regardless of whether you’re facing run-of-the-mill soreness or the pain from an acute injury, you have options for relief. Ice and rest are great, but sometimes you need more than that. 

But did you know that pain medications aren’t your only option? 

Alpha-Stim M is a drug-free way to treat your pain after the gym (In fact it’s used by some professional athletes such as former Olympic swimmer Ragga Ragnars and pro-wrestler Emma Bruntil). 

Alpha-Stim M is an FDA-cleared medical device that safely and effectively relieves acute, post-traumatic, and chronic pain. You can learn more about Alpha-Stim M and how it works here. 

With Alpha-Stim M you can see the following benefits:

  • Rapid pain relief
  • No risk of addiction or lasting side effects
  • No risk of overuse; you can treat your pain as often as you need to
  • Results are cumulative (the more you use it, the less you’ll need to)

Moreover, you can use Alpha-Stim as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with other modalities such as physical therapy and acupuncture.

Setting Yourself Up For Long-term Success in the Gym

Resolving to undertake an exercise regimen is an admirable goal. Don’t let pain undermine your ambition. What is important is to adopt a workout program that works for you and your lifestyle. Sustainability is key: you want to enjoy your workouts, and you need your body to support them – so caring for your pain is absolutely essential.

Alpha-Stim can help you embrace your goals when it’s incorporated as part of your routine, helping you to keep pain at bay.


Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to substitute medical guidance provided by a licensed healthcare professional or primary healthcare physician. Please contact your physician if you suspect that you’ve experienced an injury

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