Healthy Living

Back pains and other muscular pains?

Back pains and other muscular pains?

Sore muscles are one of the less pleasant side effects of exercise. Depending on the type and intensity of the workout, muscle soreness can range from barely noticeable to extremely painful.

Common Causes of Back Pain

Acute back pain can be caused by a mechanical problem with the bones, disks, ligaments, or muscles of the back and is quite common. Some causes of back pain include:

  • Muscle spasm. A muscle spasm is a prolonged contraction or stiffening of the back muscles, which can be triggered by trauma or repetitive strain. The back muscles spasm to protect the spine from further injury. A spasm can produce sharp back pain.
  • Herniated disk. It is also called a bulging disk, slipped disk, ruptured disk, or pinched nerve — can also cause sudden, sharp back pain. It can result from the improper lifting of heavy objects or overly strenuous activity. Sharp back pain that shoots down through the buttocks into the legs, is called sciatica,.
  • Compression fracture. This term refers to a fracture of the spine bones (vertebrae). It can be caused by trauma (a fall or car accident) or by weakened bones (osteoporosis), and the pain is often very sharp.
  • Infection. Sometimes the vertebrae can become infected, known as osteomyelitis. With infection, back pain is usually accompanied by fever and other symptoms.
  • kidney infection (pyelonephritis) and an infection of the lining of the lungs and chest (pleurisy) can mimic back pain. The symptoms that require immediate medical attention include back pain with fever, numbness or tingling, shooting pains in the extremities or groin, progressive weakness, difficulty walking, or loss of bowel or bladder control.

Why Do Our Muscles Get Sore?

Muscle soreness after exercise signals that you caused damage to your muscle tissues. When this damage, or micro-tearing happens, your body initiates the repair process by triggering inflammation at the injured site. Fluid accumulates in the muscles, putting extra pressure on the damaged areas, leading to that familiar sensation of tightness and pain that typically begins to develop 12 to 24 hours after your workout, need to be recognized. While you create a little bit of damage every time you exercise, certain types of workouts are notorious for creating higher levels of damage and — by extension — soreness. In particular, any workout that’s new to you, more intense than usual, or involves a lot of eccentric movements will likely cause more damage and soreness than other types of workouts.

Think: walking or jogging down a hill, or the lowering motion during a biceps curl or chest press. Your muscles typically sustain greater damage during these types of movements than during concentric exercises (ones where your muscle is working as it is shortening). Muscles face a lot of stress during both types of movements, but fewer muscle fibers get recruited to carry out eccentric contractions versus concentric ones.

Muscle Soreness Shouldn’t Last for Too Long

Having torn, inflamed muscles may sound bad — and we certainly want to minimize inflammation in our normal daily lives. If you help your muscles recover from the damage, they’ll likely grow back bigger and stronger. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be sore after a workout in order for it to be effective. Soreness means damage, and damage is fine in small doses, but you don’t have to create soreness-inducing damage every time you work out. You may have heard that stretching before your workout can help prevent injury and soreness.  Sore muscles need to rest, but that doesn’t mean it’s best to kick your feet up and spend the day on the couch. Try to get some gentle movement through activities like restorative yoga; an easy walk, swim, or cycle; or even light resistance training. The key is to avoid doing another intense workout using the same muscle groups on consecutive days. On an effort scale of 0 to 10 (where 10 is maximum intensity), aim for an effort level of 3, Schroeder says. You want to get blood moving to the sore muscles to deliver oxygen and nutrients needed for repair — without causing more damage to the muscle tissues. There are some strategies you can use to ease soreness and aid recovery.

  1. During and After Your Workout: Hydrate

Staying hydrated is an important aspect of muscle recovery. Water keeps the fluids moving through your system, which can help ease inflammation, flush out waste products, and deliver to your muscles the nutrients they need. Medium or dark yellow signals dehydration, whereas pale yellow means you’re hydrated.

  1. Foam Roller may help

This  technique is used to release tension in muscles and connective tissues (foam rollers, lacrosse balls, and massage sticks are common SMR tools), helping to move the fluids that accumulate in the muscle after exercise. Foam rolling, as well as other types of massage, increase circulation to deliver more nutrients and oxygen to the affected area, which helps reduce swelling and tenderness,

  1. Eat nutrients in your food

By feeding your muscles the nutrients they need to repair and grow back stronger, you may be able to speed up the recovery process. They suggest kick starting your recovery by making sure to get 20 to 40 grams of protein and 20 to 40 g of carbs into your system within 30 minutes of an intense or long workout (one that is 60 minutes or longer). Protein is important for providing the amino acids needed to rebuild your muscles, while carbohydrates play a starring role in replenishing fuel stores your muscles used up during your workout.

Prioritize meals and be sure to keep your daily protein intake fairly consistent so your tissues are fed a steady stream of amino acids throughout the day. It is recommendd to consume 1.4 to 2 g of protein per kilogram (kg) of body weight every day if you’re active, making sure to spread out the doses evenly every three to four hours. That means if you weigh 150 pounds, you’ll need approximately 95 to 136 g of protein every day. Fruits, vegetables and legumes are also key for giving your body vitamins and minerals — like vitamin C and zinc — that promote healing.

  1. Sleep is critical to healing

Sleep is one of the most important components of exercise recovery. It increases protein synthesis, which is needed to repair damaged muscles. Aim is to score at least seven hours of sleep, as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation.

  1. Pain killers should be last resort!

Though you might be tempted to pop a painkiller, avoid as much as possible.  These may ease pain associated with muscle soreness, but they may also prevent your muscles from growing back bigger and stronger. A study found that taking the maximum dosage of over-the-counter ibuprofen stalled progress during an eight-week resistance training program geared toward building muscle and strength in young adults.

 

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