Top Tips for Tackling Muscle Pain
Even if you’re in top physical condition it’s common to experience muscle pains when you take up running, or start training for a big event like the Virgin Money London Marathon.
Why have I got sore muscles?
Here are the most common causes of muscle pains:
- You’re new to exercising, or have returned to your training after a break.
- Overtraining (training too hard or too often).
- You’ve taken up a new type of exercise.
What causes the pain?
Exercise can cause your muscle fibres to tear. Your body’s reaction is to pump white blood cells and fluid to the affected muscles to help repair and protect them.
This fluid causes swelling, and the swollen muscles start to compress your nerve endings. It’s this impact on your nerve endings which causes soreness and stiffness in your muscles.
The swelling usually peaks 48 hours after the muscle fibres tear - which is why you may feel fine after a workout but then start to suffer on the second day.
What can I do about muscle pains?
Suffering some aches and pains is normal, but if you're worried you've been injured you should make an appointment to see a doctor or sports injury specialist.
If you suffer a sprain or pull a muscle it’s important to rest, and a physiotherapist may also be able to help.
How can I prevent aches and pains?
Here are our tips to avoiding muscle pain – follow the links to find out more:
- Build up your training programme gradually if you’re new to running or you’ve had a break. Increase the distance you run by no more than 10% each week.
- Warm up thoroughly before every training session. Stretching will also help prevent injuries.
- Treat yourself to a regular sports massage to help repair damaged muscle tissue.
- Taper your training before the Virgin London Marathon and allow yourself time to recover afterwards.