3 Top Reasons Why Muscles Get Sore! And How To Combat The Pain!
As we age, we begin to complain more and more of pains in our muscles and joints.
We say “I have stiffened up with age”, and such simple commonplace activities such as bending over to pick something up can create pain and make us wince.
Such pain can grip so fiercely that we are sure it begins deep in our bones. But the real cause of stiffness and soreness lies not in the joints or bones.
If you bend forward at the hips and touch your toes with your fingertips, you have good flexibility, or range of motion of the hip joints.
Flexibility is the medical term used to describe the range of a joint’s motion from full movement in one direction to full movement in the other. The greater the range of movement, the more flexible the joint.
But can you bend over easily with a minimal expenditure of energy and force? The exertion required to flex a joint is just as important as its range of possible motion.
Different factors limit the flexibility and ease of movement in different joints and muscles. In the elbow and knee, the bony structure itself sets a definite limit. In other joints, such as the ankle, hip, and back, the soft tissue—muscle and connective tissue—limit the motion range.
The problem of inflexible joints and muscles is like the difficulty of opening and closing a gate because of a rarely used and rusty hinge that has become heavy and stiff.
So, if you do not regularly move your muscles and joints through their full ranges of motion, you lose some of their potential movement.
That is why when you try to move a joint after a long period of inactivity, you feel pain and that discourages further use.
What happens next is that the muscles become shortened with prolonged disuse and this produces spasms and cramps that can be both irritating and extremely painful.
There are 3 main factors that can trigger sore throbbing muscles.
- Too much exercise
- Aging and inactivity
Let’s examine them in finer detail.
Too much exercise
Have you always believed in the saying, “No pain, no gain”? If you do, then, it is not so surprising if you have already experienced sore muscles.
The problem for the majority is that we exercise too much thinking that it is the fastest “No pain, no gain” way and the surest way to lose weight.
Until we ache.
Then we tend to ignore our muscles and connective tissue, even though we ignore the fact that these quite literally hold the body together.
Exercise in moderation with a good knowledgeable coach / trainer to assist you reach your training goals is the most effective pain free way to train.
2. Ageing and Inactivity
Connective tissue binds muscle to bone y tendons, binds bone to bone by ligaments and covers and unites muscles with sheaths called fasciae.
With age, the tendons, ligaments fibres and fasciae become less extensible.
The tendons, with their densely packed fibres are the most difficult to stretch.
The easiest are the fasciae.
But if they are not stretched to improve joint mobility, the fasciae shorten, placing undue pressure on the nerve pathways in the muscle fasciae.
Many aches and pains are the result of nerve impulses traveling along these pressured pathways.
Sore muscles or muscle pain can be excruciating, owing to the body’s reaction to a cramp or ache.
In this reaction, called the splinting reflex, the body automatically immobilises a sore muscle by making it contract.
Thus, a sore muscle can set off a vicious cycle of pain.
- First, an unused muscle becomes sore from exercise or being held in an unusual position.
- The body then responds with the splinting reflex, shortening the connective tissue around the muscle.
- This cause more pain, and eventually the whole area is aching.
- One of the most common sites for this problem is the lower back
It is extremely important to know the limitations and capacity of your muscles in order to avoid sore painful muscles.
This goes to show that there is No truth in the saying, “No pain, no gain.” What matters most is that we stay fit by exercising regularly at a normal range on a rigid routine rather than once rarely.
So, you need to ask yourself –
What’s the real reason for my aches, pains and stiffness?
And what can I do to rectify the problem?