Is muscle soreness the glorified goal of exercise? After countless hours in the gym, hitting the pavement and cycling, it’s important to make sure that you are maximizing the time and energy you are putting into these workouts.
The better question is, should muscle soreness be utilized to gauge the productivity of your workouts? There is a lot of misconception about this topic and I am quite sure depending upon who you speak with their answers may vary.
First let’s discuss, “what is muscle soreness?” and “where does it come from?”.
Muscle soreness in general is a result of microscopic tears in each muscle fiber. This typically happens when the tissues are overloaded or strained in a capacity that they are not accustomed. There are two types of muscle contractions:
- Concentric Contraction – shortening of the muscle (lifting part)
- Eccentric Contraction*- lengthening or deceleration of the muscle
*typically muscle tears are created with eccentric contractions as this is where the muscle is working the hardest.
The severity of the micro-tears can depend on the frequency, duration, and intensity of exercise. I know that at some point in time you have all experienced this phenomenon. The technical name is “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness” aka DOMS. When dealing with DOMS, you should take a mental note of where and when the soreness onsets. (Note- if the pain onsets immediately, you should seek medical attention as DOMS typically onsets 3 days post exercise.)
Many of us consider ourselves “athletes” so we need to pay attention to our bodies. Specifically, we need to assess how the muscular soreness effects our movement as well as how long it lasts.
Key questions to qualify soreness and location:
- Is the pain a dull ache or sharp and intense?
- Do you have abnormal muscle or joint pain and swelling?
- Do you have pain at rest or with movement?
- Does pain keep you up at night (your body should be recovering during a peaceful night’s sleep)?
- Has your ability to move been altered by your pain and stiffness?
Here are a few recommendations based on your potential answers to these questions:
“Pain, Pain Baby”
Remember the slogan from the 80’s: “No Pain, No Gain”? Well this could not be further from the truth. Pain is an indicator which emanates from within your body letting you know that something is wrong. If your post workout pain persists, you should see a medical doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor who may be able to fully diagnose your symptoms.
“Stiff as a Board”
Speaking from personal experience, this type of pain is quite intense and debilitating. You may experience severe muscle and joint pain due to swelling from the microscopic muscle tears as movement generally becomes extremely difficult. If you can relate to the above symptoms, we would suggest lightening up on your workout and your body will appreciate it!
“Please don’t let this last forever”
Let’s take a look at how long “normal” muscle soreness should last. Duration of soreness should be no longer than seventy-two (72) hours. If your body is taking longer than this length of time to heal, you are probably training too hard.
“Recover. Recharge. Renew”
Working out a muscle that has not fully recovered is counterproductive. To properly recover from the delayed onset muscle soreness. You should try massages and foam rolling. These are both excellent methods to help manipulate the fascia and muscles into recovery.
“CBD for the Win”
And finally, using CBD for sore muscles consistently can be an effective method for post exercise recovery. Therapist Preferred offers a full line of products to support your recovery efforts.
400mg CBD Sports Cream– Our new sports cream is 2x stronger than our “Original” popular cream. This soothing cream combines 400mg of premium CBD in an easy to use 4oz pump bottle with camphor, menthol, lavender and other essential oils. It smells great when applied topically and the calming aroma fades away quickly while you feel the cream working on your sore area(s) for hours.
CBD Soft Gels for Everyday Wellness – The human body is quite resilient in nature and has this amazing ability to heal from within. Our soft gel capsules are small, tasteless and odorless making them easy to take by most people either at home or on the go. They are an excellent way to reduce overall body inflammation and promote healing from within.
As the name suggests, these water soluble capsules are for everyday use as part of your overall regimen. We recommend taking 1-2 soft gels daily at a consistent time period (i.e. morning, nighttime).
CBD Soft Gels with Melatonin for Sleep: Sleep is where the real healing begins so these popular soft gel capsules combine the same premium formula as the Wellness Capsules with the added benefit of 1mg of Melatonin.
Note- they are intended for nighttime use only. We recommend taking 1-2 of these capsules 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime for a more restful sleep.
Either way you look at it, recovery is an important part of the healing process. Therapist Preferred is a company focused on premium, highly bioavailable products made FOR active people, BY active people. We know what it takes to perform at your peak and remain healthy!
About the Author:
Doug Geller is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and co-founder of Therapist Preferred. He leads an active lifestyle which includes playing soccer and basketball. You will always find him on an epic peloton ride and/or run as he is an avid exercise enthusiast. To support his needs as an athlete, he utilizes Therapist Preferred’s sports cream daily for muscle recovery and soft gel capsules for everyday wellness!