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3 Tips from an Austin Chiropractor on Muscle Soreness vs. Injury

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Sound the Alarm!

Is this just soreness, or should I be concerned? Here are 3 tips to help differentiate normal soreness from an injury to be concerned about.

If we are asleep at night and our house is burning down, we better hope the alarm goes off! We have a similar alarm system built into our bodies to warn us when something is wrong with our health, but we are willing to do anything to make sure the alarm doesn’t sound! This alarm is called pain, and believe it or not, it is a good thing. It tells us that our body needs attention! The difference between the house and our body is that sometimes we have trouble hearing the alarm our body gives us. As January 1st arrives, the gyms will start to fill, and many health resolutions will begin. Typically any new movement or exercise routine is enough to cause some soreness or discomfort. Here are my three key tips to help you know when it’s not just soreness, so you know when to sound the alarm and seek help!

1. Timing is Crucial

Typically normal muscle soreness, also known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS),  appears in the hours following a workout and lasts from 24 to 48 hours. If intense soreness or pain is felt instantaneously, usually an injury has occured. Another thing to keep in mind is if the feeling of soreness or discomfort following a workout
does not subside after 3-4 days, then there is a good chance it’s an injury, not just soreness.

2. Location, Location, Location

No, I’m not talking real estate here! Location tells us a lot about pain too. Commonly, muscle pain is felt very broadly across the body. If there is pain and swelling in or around a specific joint, like right on a certain spot in your foot, this usually signifies an injury.

3. One Sided vs Two Sided

Muscle soreness will usually present on both sides of the body because we utilize both sides of our body when working out. If a feeling of intense soreness or pain is felt only on one side of the body, there is a greater chance that there was an injury that took place.

To use the same analogy as before, the longer we let a building burn, the more damage the building takes. The same is true with our bodies!  Ding Ding Ding, don’t wait to seek help! If an injury at the gym does occur, a chiropractor is always my first recommendation. Go figure, a chiropractor recommends you see a chriopractor. There’s a good reason though!  This is our wheelhouse. Chiropractors are trained in diagnosing and correcting misalignments of the spine and extremities. Examples of extremity cases I see in my office include sprained ankles, foot injuries, plantar fasciitis, knee pain, tendonitis, bursitis, tennis elbow, golfers elbow, carpal tunnel, etc.

I wish you all a happy new year and much success on your health journey in 2019! I hope you don’t hear the alarm, but if you do, I hope you think of it differently, and also know what to do about it!