New Year, New You, New…Pain? Here’s How to Get Relief When You Hit the Gym Too Hard

There’s nothing quite like the start of a new year to motivate us to set new goals. One of the most common resolutions people make at the start of a new year is to get healthier – and for a lot of us, that means getting more exercise.

Whether you signed up at a new gym, invested in equipment to work out at home, or simply vowed to dust off those running shoes hiding in the back of your closet, the temptation to dive into a new routine and start a transformation can sometimes make people overzealous – which can lead to some serious aches and pains.

A man sits on a bench at a gym

Your workouts should be challenging, but not painful. It’s important to know when to stop pushing yourself.

While some muscle soreness is your body’s way of adapting to new exercise, other aches and pains can be a warning sign that you’ve done too much, too soon, and are at risk for injury. How can you tell the difference, and what is the best way to feel better, fast?

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

So you crushed your workout yesterday – congratulations! But today, you’re not feeling quite so elated. Your muscles ache in places you didn’t know you had muscles. What’s going on?

Delayed onset muscle soreness is the name for muscle aches and pains that crop up one to two days after you’ve engaged in an intense or unfamiliar workout session.  It’s the result of tiny tears in your muscle fibers, which trigger an inflammatory response. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, these are the main symptoms of DOMS you may experience:

  • Muscle pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness of the joint, along with reduced range of motion
  • Tenderness when touching the sore muscle
  • Temporary weakness of the muscle

The good news is, DOMS will resolve on its own within a matter of days. The more you engage in physical activity, the less you will experience DOMS – it means that your muscles are getting stronger! Some people believe that a workout isn’t effective unless you are sore afterwards, but that is simply not the case.

Know Your Body; Know Your Pain

While muscle soreness is normal after a new or intense workout, it’s also important to know when your aches and pains are the sign of something more serious. You should always heed what your body is trying to tell you. What are the signs that your discomfort is more than just DOMS?

A woman does yoga

It’s important to listen to your body’s cues so you can tell the difference between normal aches and pains, and a more severe injury.

Typical soreness will set in roughly 12 to 24 hours after your workout. An actual injury, however, will start to hurt immediately. Additionally, DOMS will fade after one to three days. Pain from an injury will persist and potentially even worsen.

Soreness feels dull and achey, but shouldn’t prevent you from going about your day. With an injury, the pain is more likely to feel sharp or shooting, and may amplify with specific movements that engage the injured body part.

An injury will also tend to be localized to the body part that is hurt; soreness tends to be more widespread over a broad area of the body (sharp pain in your ankle, for example, as opposed to sore legs overall.) DOMS may come with some slight swelling, but an injury can cause visible inflammation and redness.

The bottom line with pain is this: if you feel that something is amiss, it’s always better to play it safe and seek the advice of a medical professional than to keep pushing forward. You know your body best; listen to what it is telling you.

Treating Pain and Soreness

Regardless of whether you’re facing run-of-the-mill soreness or the pain from an acute injury, you have options for relief. Ice and rest are great, but sometimes you need more help than that. But did you know that pain medications aren’t your only option? You don’t have to take drugs, and accept all of their potential side effects, to feel better.

A man uses Alpha-Stim smart probes on his knee

Alpha-Stim delivers relief directly to the site of your pain using noninvasive Smart Probes or AS Trodes

Alpha-Stim® is a better way to treat your pain. It is an FDA cleared medical device – not a drug – that safely and effectively relieves acute, post-traumatic, and chronic pain. Alpha-Stim uses two handheld Smart Probes to deliver a tiny current of electricity directly to the site of your pain. This modality is called microcurrent electrical therapy (MET) – and not only is it painless, but it’s easy to use in the comfort of your own home. Treatments take mere minutes to complete, yet relief is long lasting and often immediate.

Not only will you experience rapid pain relief, but the range of motion of restricted joints improves within just minutes of using Alpha-Stim. In fact, change in mobility is one of the clinical criteria used to measure success in a treatment session. For example, if you had pain in your lower back, you would bend over to see how close you can get your fingers to the floor before you experience pain that hinders your movement. When re-testing your mobility just 2 to 5 minutes after using Alpha-Stim to treat the lower back, the distance between your fingers and the floor becomes reduced or even eliminated entirely.

Since Alpha-Stim is not a drug, there is no risk of addiction or lasting side effects. There is also no risk of overuse; you can treat your pain as often as you need to. But one of the best things about Alpha-Stim is that its results are cumulative. In other words, the more you use it, the less you’ll need to.  You can use Alpha-Stim as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with other modalities such as physical therapy and acupuncture.

Setting Yourself Up For Long-term Success

Resolving to undertake an exercise regimen is an admirable goal; don’t let pain undermine your ambition. What is important is to adopt a workout program that works for you and your lifestyle. Sustainability is key: you want to enjoy your workouts, and you need your body to support them – so caring for your pain is absolutely essential.

Alpha-Stim can help you embrace your goals for 2020 and every year beyond. Don’t let pain sideline you for another moment. Get started today, and crush every goal you set for yourself!

About Alpha-Stim

Alpha-Stim® is an FDA cleared, handheld medical device that has been proven time and again to effectively treat acute, post traumatic, and chronic pain, as well as insomnia.  Alpha-Stim uses cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES), delivered through a patented waveform via two earclip electrodes, to treat insomnia. Microcurrent electrical therapy (MET) delivers pain relief directly to the source of discomfort via two handheld Smart Probes.

The safety and effectiveness of Alpha-Stim is backed by over 100 independent clinical research studies. Unlike with medications, there is no risk of addiction or lasting side effects.

Alpha-Stim is available by prescription in the United States and over-the-counter in other countries. Get started today!