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What can I do to reduce pain that occurs after exercise?

There are many things that you can do to prevent exercise pain:

Warm-up: A 5-10 minutes warm up is essential before you begin to lift weights. Warm up can be done in the form of jogging (not running!) or jumping. After the warm up, you should have an increased heart rate and respiratory rate, ready to take'em on.
Stretching: Careful muscle stretching is essential before you begin to exercise. It makes your muscles supple, and minimises chances of muscular and ligament injury. Stretch all muscles (or muscle groups) you're going to exercise, one by one. Consult your physical fitness instructor on the correct technique of stretching.
Know your limits: Nobody becomes a Schwarzneggar overnight. Smart people start with light weights, and then move on comfortably to heavier ones. This gives their muscular system to adapt to the increasing weight. Lifting just above the "comfortable weight" can save you the pain later on. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.


Know the correct technique: If you're exercising, and during a paricular maneuver, you experience sudden pain, STOP!! It is likely that your technique is wrong. Wrong exercise techniques can seriously injure your muscles and ligaments. Consult experienced fellows, or your physical fitness instructor to learn the correct technique. It's very important.

Take hot water bath after the exercise: Hot water bath relaxes your taut muscles. It reduces inflammation in the injured muscle fibers, thus drastically diminishing the pain-producing biomolecules in the muscle. It is a very good habit to bathe with hot water after every exercise session.

If you follow the above mentioned rules, you will not have any pain after the exercise. But if you develop acute pain despite taking these precautions, then do the following:

Stop exercise: It is probable that some anatomical structure in your body was injured during a session of overly vigorous exercise. Stop exercising right on the spot. Call for help. There's no point in traumatizing the already hurt muscle or ligament. Rest for a week or so.

Use hot packs: Hot fomentation over any aching part of the body results in reduction of pain, although temporarily. Use this natural method if you don't wanna gulp the pills.

Pain-killers: Analgesic sprays and medicines (like aspirin) are pretty helpful for muscular ache of short duration. Precaution should be taken in using any medicine for control of exercise-related pain as otherwise.
Consult your physician: Any pain that occurred during an exercise session and lasts more than three days demands clinical investigation. So if your aching arm still troubles you after three days of full rest, you need to consult your physician regarding the same.
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This page last updated on:
June 3, 2004