If you’ve started working out after your gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap band surgery, you may be feeling muscle soreness afterwards. This pain is usually the result of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS is often due to:
- Starting a new exercise program
- Changing your exercise routine
- Increasing the intensity of exercise or duration (or both)
- Performing an activity your body is not used to
All of these can be common factors when beginning an exercise regime after weight loss surgery. Even if you worked out prior to your surgery, the downtime during your recovery from surgery can make you more prone to DOMS than you were prior to surgery.
Experts believe that this muscle pain and soreness is a result of microscopic damage to muscle tissues. Experts believe the damage is done during exercise and the resulting soreness may be the muscle tissue healing. Fortunately, DOMS does not require any special treatment and usually goes away on its own within a few days.
Is it OK to workout when your muscles are sore? Yes, you can still work out. The exercise will help burn calories to contribute to your weight loss and helps you build lean muscle. If your muscle soreness prevents you from using a particular group of muscles, you can target a different muscle group while the first group heals. Ice packs and massages may help your muscles feel better faster.
If you have been cleared to exercise by Dr Shillingford but haven’t started an exercise regimen yet, there are a few things you can do to prevent DOMS. First, start your exercise regimen slowly, building duration and intensity gradually. Always warm up your muscles before beginning. Stretch after your workout. Also, you can alternate your workouts so you give your muscles some time to rest. Exercise is important, not only for weight loss but also for your overall health. Don’t let DOMS deter you from exercise. Try to prevent it, and if you can’t, then try to manage it. The good news is that your muscles are getting stronger and the soreness should decrease as your body gets used to the exercises.
Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA is a board-certified surgeon specializing in gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band surgery in addition to advanced laparoscopic and robotic surgery. His weight loss surgery patients receive superior care during the stay at Northwest Medical Center’s Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery, where Dr Shillingford proudly serves as Medical Director. His bariatric patients receive follow up care at his Boca Raton office. During your follow up appointments, you will receive clearance to exercise and exercise should not be attempted prior to receiving clearance. His Boca Raton office is conveniently located for many patients coming from nearby areas, such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, Parkland, West Palm Beach, Wellington, and even Orlando.