Everything about exercise pain

Exercise pain is something most people are aware of when they have exercised or otherwise strained the body. Exercise pain is harmless and goes away on its own within a few days.

The headaches are usually felt by most during the first two days. The pain shows up after the workout, and pain during the workout itself is often a sign of something else. If you get hurt during a workout, especially more severe pain, it is a sign from the body that something is wrong. 

Symptoms of exercise pain

Exercise pain usually manifests itself through a few different symptoms in the overloaded muscles:

  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness
  • Temporary weakness in the muscles

The symptoms tend to show up especially when stretching or getting pressure on the muscle. Exercise pain is usually not felt when the muscle is in a resting position.

Why do you get a headache?

You get exercise pains when you overload one or more of the body’s muscles. Most often, heavy workouts involve dealing with the body in an unusual way, for example by doing exercises you have not done before. It can also occur when you increase the load by, for example, lifting heavier or running longer. Since exercise pain is about the above load in terms of what you are used to, both well-trained and untrained people can get it.

When you get a headache, small bursts occur in the cells of the muscles and changes in the fibers of the muscles. The loaded muscle changes to adapt to the load. That is why you often get significantly less workouts the next time you do the exercise.

Exercise pain often comes after so-called eccentric exercise. Eccentric exercise means that a muscle is loaded in a slowing motion, for example on the way down into a squat or when you land after jumping from a terminal. The muscles are subjected to more stress in these movements, which leads to more exercise pain.

Avoid getting exercise pains

The best way to avoid exercise pains is to gradually increase their load and give the body time to get used to it. Regular exercise also reduces the risk of getting workouts. If you have experienced headaches, massage and easier exercise can relieve the pain.

It is a myth that stretching would have a positive effect on exercise pain. However, stretching and other mobility training have other positive effects. It can increase mobility and performance while reducing injury risk. Warming-up does not reduce the risk of exercise pain, but it can, however, be a good way to protect yourself from injuries and to prepare mentally for exercise.

Do you need to seek care?

You do not need to seek care when you have exercise pains as it goes over on its own. If the pain persists after a week or worsens over time, you can contact a health care center.

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