Feeling sore after a workout is kind of a masochistic badge of honor. Those achy muscles that make it hard to climb even the teeniest staircase are a glaring reminder of the hard work you put in. You crushed that workout, and it kind of crushed you, too.
It is normal for muscle soreness to occur after a workout that was challenging and/or new to the body, Jacqueline Crockford, exercise physiologist and education specialist at American Council on Exercise (ACE), tells SELF. Even if you work out on the reg, it doesnt mean youre exempt. You may be in great physical shape, but if you tried a new workout that your body was not familiar with, it is very likely that you will experience some level of soreness. But pain doesnt always lead to gainsand pain definitely isnt needed in order to see gains. Either way, sometimes that pain can mean youre actually injured.
What your pain is trying to tell you isnt always so clear cut, though. For those who work out regularly, it may be a little easier to distinguish. If youre accustomed to working out and dont normally feel pain and one day you do, that tells you theres something to think about, Claudette Lajam, M.D., assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center, tells SELF. For a beginner, it may be a little tougher to get in sync with what your bodys telling you.
Heres how you can distinguish between soreness and an injury, and what to do if you suspect youre hurt.
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