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Muscle Soreness after Training

sacromere - z discs

This article will discuss muscle soreness after training, as well as a few preventative measures and treatment of the ailment.

In one of our articles under TheABC, Andrew Bosch, has discussed DOMS, Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. With this article we attempt to provide better understanding as to the what and where soreness, pain, tenderness and often swelling of the muscles can take place hours after strenuous exercise.

Change of Surface due to Season

Often the pain may occur during exercise as well as during passive movements, whereby the muscles may not feel strong and able. Problems can often occur at the time of year when the season changes, for example, late autumn and or early spring, when surfaces may change, and the athlete may feel the need to train with more enthusiasm and intensity, which can lead to overuse.

There is also a bigger risk when athletes go from running the cross country season to tartan track surfaces, and vice versa.

Problems may occur mostly when muscles lengthen and contract simultaneously.

Often athletes who try to return to strenuous training too quickly are subjected to muscle changes which are displayed via ‘ruptures’ of the so-called Z-discs.

These ruptures are considered to be responsible for stiffness after training, and this should go away after rest, which can be assisted via recuperative measures.

Z-discs do not possess sensory bodies and for this reason are not responsible for the pain and discomfort felt. It must be noted, that when a rupture takes place, many ruptures may occur at the same time. When this is combined with a change in pressure conditions, as well as impaired blood flow, swelling will occur which will result in stiffness (lack of mobility) and pain. This is not life threatening and should return to normal within a few days.

Ways to lessen muscle soreness

  • Change your training schedule to match your current level of fitness.
  • Check that your shoes do not need replacing
  • Once pain is first experienced, adjust program accordingly. Training intensity should be increased gradually, especially in the early stages.
  • Light movement and a warm environment will assist in easing any discomfort

Anatomical Factors of Running

Anatomical Factors of Running

Anatomical Factors of Running

On landing, the foot distributes the weight and prepares to propel the leg forward via various mechanisms that contribute to the movement of running. Before this takes place the normal anatomical structure of the foot can go through various deviations which are appropriate to each individual. [Read more…]

Causes of Foot Injuries


The causes of foot injuries in running are factors which are influenced by the distribution of load, including anatomical factors, body weight, shoes, surface, training program and technique. [Read more…]

Rice for Injury Treatment

Rest; Ice; Compression; Elevation [Read more…]

How to regain your fitness

How to regain your fitness after injury or illness

regain fitness

The quickest way to get your fitness back after a lay-off is to find a three-minute hill.

Let’s say that things are going really well with your training. You’re steadily getting fitter and racing faster as you get ready for that big race in a couple of months. But then – disaster strikes! Your Achilles tendon flares up, or you develop a monstrous case of the flu, or work pressures get out of control. Whatever the reason, you can’t train at all for a couple of weeks, and when you start working out again, there are only two to three weeks left before your key competition [Read more…]

Recurrent Hamstring injuries


Teri Burgess - Physiotherapy ContributorThis article is provided by Teri Burgess, resident Physiotherapist from Time-to-Run Cape Town, covering Recurrent Hamstring injuries. Teri is also the contributor of the hugely popular article, covering the 5 most common running injuries, aptly named The BIG Five. Picture it… you’re gliding up your favourite long hill, breathing well, legs feeling strong. You reach the top, and happily you start running downhill. Everything is perfect: it is a beautiful morning, that hill has never felt easier, and you are even sweating less than usual. Suddenly it all changes in one simple step. You feel a sharp pulling pain in the back of your thigh, and you are reduced to a hobble – all the way home. While you do contemplate throwing your running shoes away, you are also puzzled. You can’t think of anything you have done incorrectly to cause this injury. You have been increasing your training gradually, without doing any major speed or hill sessions. You have even been stretching a bit, and certainly felt no niggling pain or stiffness in the muscle up until now. Then you remember that this hamstring gave you problems last year, and the year before, also without warning. [Read more…]

Treatment of recurrent hamstring strains

Treatment of Recurrent Hamstring Strains

Treatment of Recurrent Hamstring Strains

Injuries to the hamstrings are the most common soft tissue injuries to the thigh. Symptoms of a hamstring strain include pain, muscle spasm, swelling, and inhibition of movement.

Treatment of acute hamstring injury

  • stop running, especially in the case of severe pain
  • if pain is mild, then reduce training load and intensity, and avoid running on cambered surfaces
  • take a course (5 – 7 days) of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen/voltaren/cataflam/mobic) available from your general practitioner or pharmacist
  • apply ice to the hamstrings – for 10 minutes every 2 hours, in order to reduce the inflammation
  • self-massage, using arnica oil or an anti-inflammatory gel, to the hamstrings
  • stretching of the hamstrings.

[Read more…]

Mechanism of injury – Hamstring


Musculoskeletal imbalances

Any breakdown in the effective function of the legs and pelvis during running may predispose to injury. Examples include:

  • postural changes due to muscle tightness
  • lumbar or sacro-iliac joint stiffness
  • poor co-ordination of movement or early fatigue associated with muscle weakness
  • leg length discrepancy (LLD) which will affect pelvic motion and stride length. Note: LLD < 1.5 cm is usually not significant
  • prolonged or delayed pronation or supination of the foot, which will alter the function of the leg and pelvis during the running cycle [Read more…]

The best predictors of injury


If you’re a runner, the link between training quantity and injury means that total training mileage is an excellent indicator of your injury risk. The more km you accrue per week, the higher your chances of damage. One recent investigation found a marked upswing in injury risk above about 65 km of running per week. [Read more…]

The Comeback from Injury


Never mind the physical pain of the injury, the psychic pain of not being able to run can sometimes be even worse. Force yourself to tough it out. It’s very important to come back slowly from an injury, and you shouldn’t rush the process. Cut way back on running – or eliminate it entirely – until you recover from your injury. [Read more…]