Any person who has had to play sports knows what is muscle pain. It does not matter which type of sport is involved, and which muscles are subjected to significant loads. If you had to run a lot - hurt your legs, it was lifted a lot of weight - will hurt your hands and chest muscles. Most often this pain is insignificant and is perceived by a person with some joy - "it hurts, it means that the muscle worked really well."But do not be so optimistic about everything, because pain is the signal of our body that some tissue is exposed to aggressive effects.
First you need to understand what causes muscle pain after training and what is the mechanism of its appearance.
- 1 "Good pain" in muscles and its causes
- 1.1 Accumulation of excess lactic acid
- 1.2 Delayed muscle pain
- 2 Trauma and overtraining
- 2.1 Overtraining
- 2.2 Injury
- 3 How to deal with muscle pain?
"Good pain" in the muscles and the causes of its occurrence
In sports, there are two types of pain that can make a person happy and not cause concern. It is their presence that indicates that the muscles worked during the training to the full extent, and gradually increase their volume in response to heavy loads. Most often it is the increase in muscle mass and is the main purpose of the gym. In one case, a person begins to feel pain in the muscles during exercise and almost immediately after training, and in another - a day or more later. The thing is that the mechanism of its occurrence is radically different.
Accumulation of excess lactic acid
Normally, our cells receive the vast majority of the required energy by aerobic glycolysis. In this case, oxygen participates in the chain of reactions, which results in a large amount of energy. However, there is an older, in the evolutionary plan, way of obtaining energy by the cells of the body. It is called anaerobic glycolysis and proceeds without the participation of oxygen.
During training, a person loads muscles to such an extent that the oxygen coming from the blood becomes insufficient to provide energy to all myofibrils. The body starts the second way of glucose oxidation and replenishes the lack of energy. One of the products of this metabolism is lactic acid( lactate), which accumulates during training in those muscles that experience a significant load. The more exercise is performed, the more acid accumulates.
Lactate has an acidic reaction that can not help but notice our receptors. That is why, during the exercise, a person experiences, at first a mild burning, which gradually becomes stronger, even to the point that even if you want to do the exercise, you can not.
Scientists have conducted dozens of studies and found that after stopping the exercise, all lactic acid, which had formed, is gradually washed away with blood. The presence of a significant amount of acidic compounds in the blood can somewhat shift its acid value( but not so much that a person feels it) and start the compensatory mechanisms. As a result, additional free radicals are destroyed - harmful compounds that can damage the cell membranes and DNA molecules.
Previously, the myth that the greater the pain a person experiences during training is very widely spread, the more they bring the effect. Poor bodybuilders just screamed in pain, through strength performing the exercise. Many believed that unable to tolerate pain is not a place in the society of athletes, etc.
Scientists, naturally, became interested in this phenomenon and conducted their research. The results struck many - the intensity of pain experienced during training, does not affect the final result. The most significant factor was the body weight of the trainee: the more a person weighs, the more muscles on it can grow( this is quite logical and explained in terms of proportions).Moreover, constant pain is a strong stress factor and can repel any desire to work in the gym. Sport should bring joy, pleasure and at the same time make a person beautiful and healthy, and not cause mental and physical suffering.
Conclusion: should not be afraid of such pain, but there is no need to bring this feeling to the extreme. It is important to feel the border to which the pain is not particularly disturbing and brings satisfaction from the training. It is highly undesirable to cross it.
Delayed muscle pain
If the cause of the last pain itself is eliminated by the body in just a few hours, many may wonder: why do muscle after the training sometimes hurt for several days?
In this case it is a matter of delayed muscle pain. It occurs when the muscles have received on the eve of an unusual load for them. Most often this kind of feeling disturbs newcomers, whose body has not managed to adapt and signals to the owner that earlier he did not have to do this. However, experienced athletes can feel this pleasant aching pain one day after exercise. In such cases, the causes are new( or well-forgotten) sets of exercises, a sharp increase in intensity, the duration of work in the hall.
The mechanism of development of this pain can frighten the unprepared reader - muscle ruptures. In fact, we are talking about microtraumas and micro fractures, when the damage occurs at the level of individual muscle fibers. Any intense load causes some of the fibrils to break. On the general working capacity of the organism this does not affect, but interesting processes begin to occur in it.
In the zone of ruptures, microscopic foci of inflammation appear in response to trauma. The body immediately activates its regenerative abilities and throws hormones into the blood, stimulating the growth of damaged muscles and suppressing inflammation. Thanks to the stimulation of growth, protein synthesis is enhanced, which increases the amount of muscle mass. These hormones affect not only the damaged areas, but also the rest of the tissue( although not in this measure).This is achieved through the release of active substances, not into the inflammation zone, but into the systemic circulation. Blood does not understand what to carry and evenly distributes any substance throughout the body.
A logical question arises: in the absence of pain, you can talk about the wrong training? This is not so, because our body can adapt to almost everything, including pain. After several training sessions, the same damage to the muscle cells will no longer manifest itself in equal pain intensity. Receptors will no longer be so active in signaling the brain, but the effect when working properly in the gym will continue to be good. Nevertheless, it is not necessary to perform the same exercise program for more than two months, because the body can adapt to such an extent that the effectiveness of working on oneself will be reduced. If, after changing the complex of exercises, slow pain does not appear, then you should think about increasing the intensity of training.
Injuries and overtraining
It has already been mentioned that retarded muscle pain is a consequence of receiving microtraumas during training. All the benefits will be obtained only if microfractures managed to heal until the next lessons. Otherwise, any training will only bring harm and additional damage. Gradually decrease the ability of immunity to correct all the consequences of thoughtless loads, hormones will cease to be allocated with the same intensity, and the tendons will become more fragile. It is about overtraining of the body.
The main symptom of this state of the body is a wandering phantom pain that appears for no apparent reason in the muscles and joints 1-2 hours after training. It passes as unexpectedly as it does. In this case, it is necessary to reduce the load during sports, and in the most severe cases, completely give up training for a week or two.
If you do not follow the safety procedures and the simplest rules of training, you can get a serious injury without any gross exposure to the body with foreign objects. Many beginning athletes believe that the warm-up only takes away from them the time for which you can do "really useful exercises".This is extremely dangerous and unreasonable! Untreated tendons, joints, ligaments and muscles can easily be damaged by not even the heaviest load.
It is worthwhile to be alert if there is at least one of the following signs:
- The pain appeared suddenly, during training and strongly pronounced.
- When you move in the joint, you can hear a crack or click.
- The body appeared swelling, painful on palpation.
- Unpleasant feeling does not weaken, but intensifies with each passing day.
- Increasingly during the exercise, there are "pain lumbago", which after disappear.
- There is a feeling that the pain comes from inside the joint.
- The pain is so severe that it is not possible to perform the usual exercises.
- The pain appears when performing a certain load - this indicates isolated damage to individual elements of the musculoskeletal system.
- Unpleasant feelings interfere with the usual activities.
If the pain after or during training is of the above nature, then it is necessary to urgently contact a surgeon or traumatologist. Doctors will be able to determine the cause of discomfort and will conduct adequate treatment. Many conditions in orthopedics and traumatology can be eliminated by conservative methods. After the patients can return to sports and attend gyms in the same regime.
If you do not pay attention to "unsettling pain" and think that the stronger the sensation - the greater the effect, you can tighten the disease to such an extent that surgical intervention will be required, after which it will be necessary to forget about pastime in gyms. It is especially difficult to hear such advice of doctors to professional sportsmen who are at the peak of their careers.
How to deal with muscle pain?
For most athletes, burning in the muscles after training is not a pain, but a kind of pleasant reward, which says that the clock in the gym is not in vain. If there is a desire to slightly dull this sensation, then one can recall the pathogenesis of the appearance of pain and take some measures.
- Drinking enough fluids - stimulates the kidneys and removes all unnecessary metabolites from the body. These include lactic acid, which, with a plentiful drink, will quickly leave the muscles and cease to irritate the nerve endings.
- Water treatments( especially the combination of a warm bath with a cold shower) help to increase blood flow in the peripheral parts of the body and "wash out" therefrom lactic acid. In addition, the temperature difference stimulates the immune system, which is generally beneficial for the body.
- Bath is a wonderful combination of high significant temperature drop and abundant drink, which perfectly eliminates almost any pain after training.
- Antioxidants are substances that can eliminate free radicals. You can help the body in this difficult matter by taking a little ascorbic acid, vitamin A or E. Also, a lot of such substances are contained in the skin of fruits and vegetables( grapes, cabbage, raisins - a good choice for a snack during exercise).
- Anti-inflammatory drugs - inflammation in the muscles can be removed by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but not in the case of sports! Regularly, they can not be taken because of the risk of developing the pathology of the gastric mucosa. A good alternative to them is infusion of chamomile, St. John's wort, linden, licorice, as well as walnuts, raspberries, currants in the form of berries.
- Warm-up and hitching are important elements of training, which will prevent the development of serious muscle pain.
- Massage - rubbing and kneading of muscles leads to an increase in local blood flow, due to which the acid metabolic products are quickly removed from the body. Also, touching the body distracts a person, and he ceases to feel pain so clearly.
- Swimming is a good combination of water treatment and movement - an important factor that allows you to quickly restore your muscles.
- Sleep - the body is best restored when a person sleeps. Muscles are no exception to the rules.
If you follow all the rules of training, do not overwork, remember the warm-up and hitch, the pain in the muscles will bring only joy, and no measures to weaken it will not be required!