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Muscle Soreness after Training

Soreness, with pain, tenderness, and sometimes swelling of the muscles, can appear a few hours after strenuous training. The pain occurs during both active exercise and passive movements, and the muscles may feel weak. Many athletes experience the problem in late autumn (fall) and early spring when they change surfaces and either do not adjust their shoes to the new surface or start training too energetically. The symptoms appear mainly during the kind of exercise in which muscles lengthen and contract simultaneously (eccentric action or negative work).
In untrained individuals who are suddenly subjected to strenuous exertion, muscle changes in the form of tissue damage to the small elements of the muscle fiber have been seen within 2–7 days. These ruptures have been connected with stiffness after training, and disappear after the musculature has been allowed to rest. The fiber elements contain no sensory bodies and do not in themselves cause any pain; when they are ruptured, however, the muscle cell wall is also damaged and there may be ruptures of the muscle capillaries. These alterations cause pressure increases and impaired blood flow; swelling may occur, which is sensed as stiffness and pain. The condition is not dangerous and usually disappears after a few days.

Preventive measures and treatment

The following measures help to minimize the problem.
– The training program should be adjusted according to the level of training achieved and the surface used. Appropriate equipment is important.
– If a minor degree of soreness is felt, training can be continued but should be modified. The intensity of
training should always be increased gradually, especially during the initial stages.
– Gentle movements and warm surroundings help to ease the pain.

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