We’ve all been there: the barely-able-to-move, can’t-sit-down-or-lift-my-arm muscle soreness the day after a workout (yep, the Barre burn is real!). While muscle soreness is often a sign of a challenging but effective workout, there are some types of workout pain that aren’t worth ignoring. That’s why we asked one of Sydney’s leading Sports Scientists, Brando Hasick (a.k.a. Body by Brando) for the lowdown.
“Muscle soreness is normal. However, it is important to understand the difference between good pain and bad pain.”
If you begin to feel a “pinching” or sharp pain sensation during training, it should never be ignored. Pinching can be anywehere there is a joint, but is commonly found in the shoulder girdle (supraspinatus impingement) and in the hip capsule (adductors or hip flexors). It is often a result of inflammation of certain muscles/ tendons, which leads to a lack of “space” in the capsules. This ultimately causes something (normally a tendon/ligament) to get pinched as the joint opens and closes. Think of an opening and closing door and deciding to stick your finger in the gap. Eventually it will pinch, and hurt. Repetitive pinching of these tendons will lead to even further inflammation (tendonitis) and therefore more pain and more downstream injury.
Ask yourself: am I maintaining proper technique and ensuring the right muscles are activated? More than likely, there will be an over-active muscle vs an under-active muscle causing an imbalance in the structure of the muscular system. If this is the case, I would suggest re-assing your technique. If your form seems to be fine, find the deficiency which is causing the pain. Consider making an appointment with a physio, chiropractor or health professional.
You also need to watch out for tingling pain. Tingling sensations usually occur once a nerve is involved. The nerve is the connection which allows a regular signal to be conveyed from the brain to the muscle and tells the muscle to activate (neuro-muscular connection). If this pathway is inhibited, the sensory nerves surrounding the muscles begin to recognise that there is something wrong and will create a tingling sensation.
Stop immediately and get a health professional to have a look at the area. Tingles = nerves. Not something you want to damage.
Warmness in the muscle and general muscle burn is fine, as long as it is in the correct muscle group in which the movement is trying to promote. Muscles in motion create stress and the more stress they are under, the more “burn” you will feel. The burning feeling in your muscles comes from the increase in lactic acid, which in turn reduces the pH of the body, surrounding the muscles. The sensory nerve receptors recognise the change in pH and begin sending a pain signal to your brain. Once your body sweeps away or regulates the pH level, the pain will begin to decrease.
TIP: Magnesium supplementation has been known to have some benefits with reducing muscle soreness, along with enjoying an alkaline based diet.
Body by Brando is one of Sydney’s leading Sports Scientist with a passion for helping ordinary people achieve extraordinary things with their body. His methods and expertise in body awareness and motor control have helped the likes of elite athletes and general populations alike. Strength and conditioning sessions with Brando will have you understanding your body in a whole new dimension, allowing you to reach the true athletic potential your body has to offer.