When beginning a training program the first few weeks may be a bit of confusion. You’re in pain, and you’re trying to figure out if its from training and if you have busted something. 9 times out of 10 its just muscles soreness from your first couple of training sessions. DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) usually takes over a period of a week to recover but on most cases as you get used to your program it only takes a couple of days or nothing at all! Now, if you still feel like you are getting pain, and usually not a symmetrical pain, for example your left shoulder is sore but your right not, you may have a problem. It's not that you have trained wrong, but to be honest, occupation and lifestyle play a big factor into how your muscles function. Loading up a hip from standing at a counter all day can hurt after a leg session, looking down at your computer screen can put strain on your neck and can result in having a pulled muscle or tight neck after doing an upper body work out. Its important to make sure your recovery after training also includes being preventative to such matters.
Seeing a physiotherapist...
...can help with the understanding of where the problem starts and how you can help stop it. It can be from an accident when you were 7 years old that is catching up, wearing heels out all night over the weekend, or having bad form when exercising. Stretching, foam rolling and regular massage are all staples in helping with an injury that is setting your training back, as we get older we get more frail and we need to be pro-active in making sure we are structurally sound. If you have an injury don’t stop your training, work out what you can do, not what you can't, focus on diet and replace those missed sessions with big recovery and stretching sessions.
Make your rest days count!
You may want to see more results, and train again to see change, but stressing your body all the time does not help. Rest days don’t necessarily mean just laze around the house and not be active, get on the floor and spend a good 20-30 minutes stretching and roam rolling or doing rehab exercises your Physio or health practitioner has given you.
Another great way to reduce inflammation, or swelling...
...is supplementing with turmeric and magnesium. When the muscles are sore or injured they will swell, but the body doesn’t always know where the pain or inflammation is, so when you are stressed it can make you store fluid everywhere and feel bloated. Topical application of bentonite clay, or baths in epsom salts can also help.
If you are in pain for longer than a week after training, or if you feel like a part of you isn’t getting better, see a health professional and start making a program with them to get you training like a well-oiled machine again.