Body pain is defined as the unpleasant physical feeling and emotional experience that comes with damage or potential damage to part of your body. Most of us can think of a time we've experience body pain. Muscle soreness meets this definition for some people, but we'd like to share some thoughts on why muscle soreness should be thought of as a "good pain". Muscle soreness is very common and it occurs after you use your muscles to the point where they grow tired. Muscle soreness often starts at different times for different people; for some it may start after several hours, and others it may take up to two days (this is called delayed onset muscle soreness) When we regularly work our muscles carefully, they learn to respond to the challenges we put them through and eventually the achy and tight feelings after a workout will lessen. To feel the ache again we have to put them through more and more challenges. That’s why muscle soreness is a ‘good pain’ it is a sign of growth and progress.
Tips for when you feel muscle soreness:
- Drink water, eat healthy, and stay active. Staying well-hydrated helps lessen the experience of muscle soreness (bonus: coffee counts!). Antioxidents from a healthy diet help lessen soreness (see the Nutrition page for examples of osteoporosis-friendly foods). Finally, don't shy away from movement! Surprisingly, a "recovery work-out" will help muscle soreness go away faster. Perform exercise movements for your sore muscles that don’t bring them to fatigue.
- Muscle soreness can tell you if you did you exercises with good form. For example, if you were supposed to be exercising your legs, but you feel soreness in your back, you were probably bending at your back and you didn’t know it. Your form could have been off, causing your back muscles to do unnecessary work and growing sore. The next time you do the same exercise watch how you complete the movement by paying careful attention to how you are moving your back. You may need to do a smaller movement with your legs so your back doesn’t feel the need to do the task. The muscle groups that are sore should match the muscles that were being worked during your exercises (Our Exercise page will tell you which muscle groups should be worked per exercise).