Exercise is a great way to stay healthy and fit, but it can also lead to muscle pain. Muscle cramps, spasms, joint pain, and myofascial pain syndrome are all common after a workout. If you're feeling sore, it's important to take it easy for a few days while your body adjusts. You can also try doing some light exercise, such as walking or swimming, to keep your muscles moving and provide some relief.
In most cases, muscle pain will stop in 2 to 5 days without medical attention. You can help relieve symptoms with ice packs, massages, light stretches, or by taking pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications. Feeling your muscles hurt or stiffen for a few days after exercise is normal and is known as late-onset muscle pain (DOMS). DOMS usually affects only the parts of the body that were worked on, so you may be able to work other muscle groups while letting the fatigued ones recover.
It's important to distinguish between moderate exercise-induced muscle pain and muscle overuse or injury. Late-onset muscle pain is common after exercise and usually means muscles are getting stronger. When it comes to your exercises, it's important to listen to your body and know when something really isn't right, whether it's muscle pain that compromises your fitness, more muscle pain than usual, or real harmful pain that could indicate an injury. When you use the same muscles repeatedly at work or during exercise, your muscles may hurt from overuse.
To be more specific, late-onset muscle pain occurs when the muscle performs an eccentric or elongated contraction. If you're experiencing more than just mild discomfort after exercise, it's important to take a break and give your body time to recover. Resting for a few days can help reduce inflammation and allow your muscles to heal. If the pain persists for more than a few days or worsens over time, it's best to seek medical attention.