Will My Muscles Always Be Sore After Workout?

New to working out? Here’s what you need to know about DOMS – and how to ease the pain.

Causes of Muscle Soreness

Muscle soreness is a common phenomenon after a workout session. This is often caused by the large amount of pressure placed on the muscles during a strenuous workout routine. Many people experience muscle soreness the next day or two after workouts, especially after a new type of exercise or increased intensity. There are a few other causes of muscle soreness that should be understood before starting a workout regime. Let’s explore them in more detail.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is muscle soreness that sets in one to two days after exercise and can stay for up to five days. The intensity of it can range from mild discomfort to severe pain, making it difficult for the affected person to move. It occurs when the body is put under intense physical stress, such as a heavy weight training session or high-intensity interval training. These activities cause microscopic tears in the muscles, and during the recovery process, lactic acid accumulates in and around the fibers which causes inflammation and pain. DOMS also results when a person performs larger amounts of physical activity than they are accustomed to or moves in unfamiliar ways with an inadequate warm-up. Factors that contribute to DOMS include general fitness level, age, gender and hydration status.


Overtraining is one of the most common causes of muscle soreness. It occurs when an individual does too much physical activity, usually with an inadequate amount of rest between workouts. Symptoms may include intense and prolonged muscle soreness, as well as fatigue, increased irritability and difficulty concentrating. The solution to this type of tendon pain is to reduce the intensity of your workout regimens and take short breaks between workouts. It is also helpful to ensure you are receiving sufficient amounts of sleep each night in order to properly regenerate and repair muscles. Additionally, getting regular massages can help reduce muscle pain by increasing the circulation in sore muscles and breaking up adhesions that prevent healing and flexibility.

How to Prevent Muscle Soreness

Muscle soreness after a workout is a common experience for many people – and while it can be unpleasant, it doesn’t have to be inevitable. In fact, there are several things that you can do to reduce or even prevent muscle soreness after a workout. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best strategies for preventing muscle soreness after exercise, so you can stay active and feel good.

Warm Up Before Exercise

Preparing your body before exercise is one of the best ways to prevent muscle soreness. Taking part in a warm-up activity before starting your exercise will help to increase energy and blood flow to the muscle fibers, making them less susceptible to wear and tear.

A warm-up should be tailored to a specific workout but typically includes light activity such as jogging, cycling or dynamic stretching. This type of stretching should be done while moving instead of while stationary. The focus should be on joint movement and muscle activation, not deep stretching or range-of-motion exercises.

Dynamic warming up plays an important role in promoting athletic performance, injury prevention and preparation for activities with reduced risk of muscle soreness afterward. It can serve as both a physical preparation for exercise as well as a psychological preparation — by mentally focusing you on what you’re doing and helping you get into the right frame of mind for your workout ahead!

Cool Down After Exercise

When your workout is finished, you don’t want to just stop where you’re at and call it a day; your body needs some attention! To prevent soreness, make sure to cool down after your exercise session. Cooling down simply means slowing down the intensity of your workout before coming to a stop. This could be walking around for a few minutes before sitting or stopping when you’re done jogging.

Another way to cool down is to perform gentle stretches for 10 minutes after a hard workout session. Dynamic stretching involves stretching with movement, such as touching your toes while swinging sideways or bending forward and backward while on tiptoe. This helps alleviate the built-up tension that can lead to muscle soreness by promoting increased blood flow throughout the body and allowing more oxygen into the muscle fibers.

Finally, consider using a foam roller or massage stick after exercise sessions. Foam rolling works by breaking up knots within the muscles which also promotes increased blood flow throughout the body. The massage stick has knobs along its surface which work similarly during rolling massage strokes across your muscles. Additionally these tools are useful in spite of post-workout soreness as they can help reduce any pain associated with tight or agonizing areas in the body that may arise from strenuous workouts.

Increase Training Intensity Gradually

Progressing your workout intensity too quickly is a common cause of muscle soreness. To prevent this, gradually increase the duration, frequency and intensity of your training sessions over a period of several weeks. This allows your body to adjust to the new workload and will reduce the risk of muscle soreness and fatigue. Your body is remarkably adaptive but it requires sufficient time for it to make these necessary adaptations. Don’t increase all three at the same time; instead, alter one factor at a time or focus on just one factor for a few weeks before slowly introducing another aspect into your routine.

It is also important to vary your training from time to time. This helps prevent repetitive strain injuries which can arise from overworking certain muscle groups or joints, as well as keeping workouts interesting so laziness does not set in! Utilizing proper form when performing exercises can help ensure that no muscles are overloaded during activity by avoiding risk-prone postures. Furthermore, being well hydrated and nourished before and after exercise has been associated with better performance and lower levels of soreness post-exercise

Treating Muscle Soreness

Muscle soreness is a common side effect of any type of physical activity, especially when you’re new to exercise or have just increased the intensity or duration of your workout. It’s important to know how to treat muscle soreness in order to stay injury-free and get the most out of your fitness routine. This section will go into detail about the best ways to treat muscle soreness.


Massage is one of the most effective ways to reduce sore muscles after a workout. Massage helps by stimulating circulation and flushing out lactic acid and other metabolic waste products that accumulate during exercise. This helps to reduce swelling, improve flexibility, and relieve muscle tension in the affected area. Massaging in long strokes encourages venous return, by allowing the lymphatic system to be activated. Venous return is when blood circulates back to the heart and lungs for oxygenation, waste removal, and nourishment for healthy tissue. Massage can also help break down adhesions (scar tissue) created from hard workouts which enhances muscular movement and coordination.

Foam Rolling

Foam rolling is a popular self-myofascial release (SMR) technique used in physical therapy and other exercise programs. SMR is a form of massage using foam rollers, balls, or sticks to apply pressure to target tight muscles. This pressure can help break down muscle knots, reduce tension, increase flexibility, and decrease muscle soreness.

To foam roll an area properly, you must identify the tender spots and then while keeping your body still and the roller stable, repeatedly apply pressure to those muscles with slow rolling motions for 10 to 20 seconds at a time.

It’s important to use proper form when foam rolling. Your body should be in static positions with steady movements perpendicular to the long axis of your muscles rather than going up and down along fibers as would happen during regular massage treatment. Make sure your hands are free as you should not push down on them for support or leverage. Be careful though – if you feel sharp or shooting pain that doesn’t subside shortly after applying pressure; then stop foaming rolling immediately as this may indicate an underlying injury that requires medical attention.


Stretching is an important part of any workout routine as it can help to reduce muscle soreness and prevent injury. The goal of stretching is to lengthen the muscles in your body, which helps to increase your flexibility and range of motion. Regular stretching activities can also improve your posture, reduce muscle tension and improve circulation throughout the body.

When stretching after exercise, it’s important to focus on gentle stretches that allow you to slowly move in and out of specific positions. This type of relaxation-based stretching will help you restore balance to your body after a strenuous workout session. For example, incorporating dynamic stretches such as arm swings or leg swings into a cool down routine can relieve soreness caused by intense training sessions. Also helpful are foam rolling techniques or self-massage techniques with a lacrosse ball as these actions can help release muscle tension.

For best results, it’s important that you take your time during each stretch and focus on breathing through any discomfort that may arise. Most experts recommend holding the stretches for no more than 30 seconds at a time – although research has found that holding active stretches for up to one minute may be more beneficial in reducing post-workout muscle fatigue. Even if you have very tight areas of your body, always start off with gentle movements, then progress slowly as you build strength and flexibility over time.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Muscle soreness after a workout is not uncommon, but it is important to be aware of when it might be a sign of something more serious. Knowing when to seek medical attention due to excessive muscle soreness can help you avoid injury and even more serious health complications. In this section, we’ll discuss what signs and symptoms you should look out for that require medical attention.

Severe Pain

Muscle soreness is usually caused by an intense workout or an overly strenuous activity. It is normal for muscles to feel tender and fatigued after pushing your body’s limits and muscle soreness can last for a few days afterwards. However, if the pain persists, worsens, or becomes unbearable, you may be experiencing more than temporary muscle soreness and should look into seeking medical advice and attention.

Severe pain that lingers after exercise could be a sign of a deeper issue such as inflammation or an injury. Chronic and debilitating pain could indicate something more serious such as spinal cord compression, rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown) caused by excessive medication, viruses like the flu or even meningitis. Therefore, it is very important to take pains (no pun intended!) in monitoring your body’s response to physical activity so that you can mitigate any potential harms to your health.

Additionally, when experiencing severe pain following exercise you should look out for other symptoms like fever, excretion of brown colored urine (which could indicate muscle breakdown or dehydration due to excessive electrolyte loss from over-exercising), itching skin/tingling sensation, unexplained fatigue etcetera. Should any of these symptoms present themselves then medical care should be sought immediately in order to minimize any damage caused by underlying health issues or complications from over-exercising/strain on muscles .


Although it is normal to experience swelling after a workout, if that swelling persists and worsens over time, or is accompanied by other worrisome symptoms, you should contact your doctor for medical advice. Swelling that persists for more than 48 hours may be a sign of injury or an underlying medical condition.

In addition to persistent swelling, you may need to seek medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms: severe tenderness; an inability to move a joint; redness accompanied by heat in an affected area; referred pain (pain in one area caused by an injury somewhere else); numbness and tingling; decreased range of motion with increasing pain; muscle spasms; oozing from a rash or wound; fever and chills.

If you have any concerns about your muscles after a workout, it’s important that you talk to your doctor right away. Whatever the cause of your discomfort, they will be able to identify the best treatment plan for you.

Loss of Mobility

There are certain symptoms related to muscle pain that warrant seeking medical advice. One of the key warning signs is a decrease in mobility caused by soreness. If you find yourself experiencing difficulty when moving from one position to another, or if you experience any difficulty performing daily motions, it may be important to check with your doctor. In addition, it may be important to seek medical advice if feeling sore does not subside after 48 hours or if the pain gets worse instead of better. Finally, if you experience a fever with muscle pain or the area of your body affected turns red, becomes warm to touch and/or swollen this can indicate an infection and warrants an examination by your doctor.

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