Muscle pain after training: what to do, how to remove

Severe muscle pain that occurs the day after a workout can seriously interfere with daily work. Get up, walk – simple actions become painful.

Delayed muscle soreness after training appears after about 12 hours or a day. The appearance of pain is mainly associated with the accumulation of lactic acid.

An insufficient amount of oxygen for the needs of working muscles leads to the launch of lactic acid fermentation processes, resulting in lactic acid accumulating in muscle fibers.

However, it is excreted within a few hours and has nothing to do with pain, which can last long after exercise.

Why do muscles hurt after a workout – reasons

Post-workout muscle pain often occurs after increased physical exertion or a long absence of physical activity.

At first, it was thought that muscle pain was due to the accumulation of lactic acid, which builds up in muscles when there is a lack of oxygen.

The main cause is inflammation caused by microtraumas of the connective tissue that sensitizes pain receptors.

Lactic acid is excreted within a few hours and has nothing to do with post-workout pain that occurs even on the second day.

Muscle pain after training: what to do, how to remove

In addition, several other indirect mechanisms can cause additional pain.

Chemicals, including histamines and bradykinins, are released during inflammation;

Violation of the extracellular matrix (a network of proteins, mainly collagen) causes an inflammatory response.

Post-workout pain can be accompanied by swelling, which leads to increased pressure in a particular area and causes additional irritation of pain receptors.

Muscle pain occurs:

  • For beginners who are just starting to work out in the gym;
  • After taking a long break from training;
  • Changing the training plan or introducing new exercises.

The more intense the training, the more these processes will intensify, leading to a greater muscle pain sensation.

During intense exercise, the actin and myosin fibers that make up the muscle structure and the membrane surrounding the bundle of muscle fibers can rupture.

For these reasons, scientists see a delayed pain reaction – the body must have time to repair damage and regenerate tissues.

Duration is an individual matter and depends on several factors:

  • The size of the muscle group being trained – muscle pain in large groups lasts longer and takes longer to recover;
  • The amount of work performed in one approach;
  • The type of exercise being performed.

How does muscle pain manifest?

Progressively worsens with most severe symptoms approximately 24-48 hours after exercise. Muscle soreness that makes it difficult to perform simple actions is accompanied by symptoms such as:

  • Swelling;
  • Edema;
  • temporary muscle weakness;
  • Limited range of motion;
  • Stiffness of joints around aching muscles.
Muscle pain after training: what to do, how to remove

Although ailments are unpleasant, this is a clear signal that processes are taking place in the body to restore and regenerate damaged tissues.

With regular training, the symptoms will be much less pronounced when the intensity is gradually increased.

Trained muscles are ready for more complex exercises, and microtraumas occur less frequently.

How to stop muscle pain after exercise

Returning to the gym in a few months will shock the muscles and the whole body. Therefore, the training plan must be carefully planned.

First of all, avoid heavy loads. Remember that the muscles have lost adaptation due to a break in training.

Secondly, do not return to the training plan before the break. All aspects of the training plan must be appropriate for the level of training. After a break, the body has fewer opportunities.

The first gym workout will likely accompany “soreness,” and muscle pain will not disappear after a few hours.

You can speed up recovery and reduce inflammation. However, it is impossible to completely avoid delayed muscle soreness after a long break in training.

How to relieve muscle pain after a workout

If your muscles are sore after a workout, special and home remedies come to the rescue that will ease the pain. Thanks to this, you can go to the next workout earlier.


Improves blood supply to the muscles and helps relieve pain after exercise. It should be a relaxing massage designed only to stimulate the tissues.

Properly performed, soothes sore muscles, relaxes.

Muscle pain after training: what to do, how to remove

The therapy can be carried out manually or with the help of special massage equipment, which allows you to adjust the strength of the massage according to individual needs.

The hydromassage in the bath also relieves muscle pain.


Acupressure relaxes muscles, improves blood circulation, and promotes recovery after a workout or a hard day at work.

The acupressure mat presses on the corresponding points on the body, which relieves pain.

Muscle pain after training: what to do, how to remove


Reduces muscle pain and inflammation after exercise.

Bath and shower

Warm or cold baths and cold and warm showers are excellent methods that improve tissue regeneration.

Warm compresses

On the one hand, warm water relaxes and relieves pain; on the other hand, it improves blood circulation and positively affects the restoration of damaged tissues.

Low-Intensity Workouts

Although pain interferes with activity and causes discomfort, gentle exercise helps oxygenate the body and repair damaged tissue more quickly. Swimming, walking, or Pilates are ways to improve the blood supply to muscle tissue. Reduce muscle pain.


Healthy sleep gives rest to tired muscles, restores the nervous system, and promotes the production of hormones that help repair damaged muscle fibers.

During sleep, blood flows freely, oxygenating the muscles and reducing pain.

Warming ointments

Warming ointments and gels reduce muscle pain and provide a pleasant rest after hard training. In addition, warming massage cosmetics nourish and strengthen the skin.

How to Avoid Muscle Soreness After a Workout

There are several simple and proven ways.

  1. Warm-up. The basis for regular training. Before any physical activity, you need to warm up the muscles. Stretching and preparing the muscles for work protect them from subsequent soreness, ailments, and injuries.
  2. Adaptation of activity to the capabilities of the organism. An overly optimistic assessment of one’s capabilities can lead to muscle pain and more serious damage and injuries. The intensity of exercise and training should be increased gradually.
  3. Diet. The lack of nutrients in the body makes it difficult and lengthens muscle recovery, leading to increased pain and recovery time after training. The diet of a training person should contain proteins and amino acids, carbohydrates, and fats in the correct proportions. It is worth adjusting the daily menu in terms of regular workouts and, if necessary, consult a dietitian.
  4. To drink a lot of water. Drink lots of water during and after your workout. A hydrated body recovers faster and gets rid of toxins.

Muscle soreness after a workout – to exercise or not

Is it worth it to do if muscles hurt after a previous workout? Is it an individual question? You may need to rest for another day if there is severe pain.

However, pain in only one part, for example, in the muscles of the legs, then there are no contraindications for training the upper body. Often, mild muscle pain disappears after a properly performed warm-up.

After a few minutes of cardio and dynamic warm-up exercises, muscle pain goes away. In this case, you can do a workout emphasizing strength exercises.

Muscle pain after training: what to do, how to remove

Of course, muscle soreness is an unpleasant problem that occurs the day after exercising in the gym.

As a rule, muscle pain affects beginners and people returning to activity after a long break.

You can try different ways to relieve pain. However, they will not relieve the pain immediately. Both specialized and home treatments will only reduce soreness.

When returning from a break, it is important to take a sensible approach to strength training and develop an appropriate training plan with less intensity and frequency.


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