Discomfort After The Gym: Rest, Massage, Or Doctor
If you are not someone who is an advanced weight lifter, and you have suddenly jumped into lifting, then you might have experienced some discomfort after a heavy lifting session. This is often the case when someone who is untrained suddenly starts lifting heavy weights. It might just be a case of muscle soreness. However, you also might have injured yourself by either lifting too heavy too soon, or by lifting with improper form. Here are three different problems, and three solutions.
Regular Sore Muscles (DOMS)
If you lift heavy weight, you might experienced delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Not all lifters get this, though some will experience this quite often. It's nothing dangerous. It won't be a sharp pain, just a feeling that you might have had in the past if you did too much lifting at work, biked for a long time, or did something else strenuous.
What you do need to do is stop lifting for a few days. As a rule, you should never work out the same muscles on consecutive days. The whole process of building muscle requires the muscle to breakdown and then repair. If you lift everyday, you are not giving yourself time to heal. So, plan on taking days off.
Sometimes you can get pain because you have not stretched out properly. This can be a problem when you hit the gym and do deadlifts, or some other heavy compound exercise. Your quads might get sore because they are tight and are being worked out. The solution to this is to stretch, but also get a massage. The massage therapist can help to relieve tight knots. Another benefit to getting a massage is that they are can help with releasing the built-up lactic acid that develops in the muscle during a workout.
There are times when you will need to see a doctor. You can't ignore all pain because there are problems that will occur at the gym that can cause serious injury. For instance, if you perform a dead lift incorrectly (with too rounded a lower back, for example), you can rupture a disc. This will be a pain that is severe—not a simple case of muscle soreness. You can also injure your wrist joint if you load up the barbell too heavy and fail to stabilize it properly. There are lots of little problems (mostly signified by a sharp pain, not a dull soreness). If you experience any of these sharp paints, then you should make an appointment with a primary care physician at a location like Rural Health Services Consortium Inc. and have them check you out. Do not lift any weight until you are checked out.