Sore muscles are usually a good thing! It means we’ve been working out! It’s not always comfortable but it’s sometimes a wonderful reminder that what we just did the day (or two days) before was worth it!
So, what causes the muscles to get sore?
Over-working the muscles. When you work the muscles in a new way, or harder than they’re used to, there are microscopic tears in the muscle fibers which need time to heal. As long as they are given a chance to heal, it’s a good thing, because it strengthens the muscles and may increase the strength of the bones themselves, with load-bearing activities, thus reducing the chances of osteoporosis.
Spine misalignment. When the spine is misaligned, some muscles have to work harder to maintain the body in an upright position. Other muscles are stretched out too much and are therefore very weak. Some muscles will shut off to protect the joints, and thus others have to compensate. After exercise, if you find an uneven soreness pattern, chances are your body is very misaligned.
What are some solutions to muscles soreness?
Follow your exercise routine up with a similar work out or activity at a lower intensity. Make sure it’s a lower intensity, in order to give the microscopic tears a chance to heal. Then, once you’ve used those muscles once, give them a break. Vary your workouts with alternating muscle groups.
Drink lots of water. This flushes the tissues of the inflammation that may build up in them.
Stretch before and after exercising. This cannot be overemphasized. It’s incredibly important to stretch to reduce injury as well as to allow the muscles to release the toxins that build up in them.
See a massage therapist. Massage is great to work out the inflammation and scar tissue in the muscles. Make sure you tell the therapist when you worked out, so they are aware of the timing for muscle healing and allowing the microscopic tears to heal. A lower intensity massage is more appropriate closer to the time of the intense exercise.
See a chiropractor. Chiropractic aligns the bones and muscles so that they are able to be stronger and less prone to injury. You may notice a more balanced (symmetrical) soreness pattern and the recovery being quicker. NUCCA care can also cause muscle soreness initially as the center of gravity shifts and the muscles are working differently than they were used to.