More Exercise Got You Sore?
So you’ve started exercising, that’s great! Exercise is key to weight loss, especially for gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band patients. But sore muscles don’t make you feel great. It might even be more than just uncomfortable, the muscle pain might make it hard to go about your work day without walking like a robot, or make it hard for you to lift your child, or give a hug, or lug a bag of fresh, healthy groceries to your car. Sore muscles can make bariatric patients not want to exercise, but the calories burned by exercise are crucial to making the most of your weight loss efforts and building lean muscle mass after weight loss surgery.
Why do you get sore muscles after exercising?
It’s called delayed onset muscles soreness (DOMS). When you perform an eccentric exercise you aren’t use to, the lengthening of the muscle under tension causes damage to the muscle. According to Dr. Patricia Hume, PhD, a professor of human performance at the School of Sport & Recreation at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, "DOMS is classified as a type I muscle strain injury.”
What causes the soreness?
There are many theories, but no definite answers. Professor Hume thinks the answer is likely a combination of several theories. Possibly, the forces generated by the exercise damage the muscle and connective tissue surrounding it. This could lead to an imbalance of calcium, which further damages the muscle. Once inflammation kicks in, the pain begins and swelling also starts, making the pain worse.
How can you stop it?
Some have touted antioxidants as the answer, but there is no scientific evidence to support it. Cold therapy, such as whole body cryotherapy or simply applying ice packs, has not been proven to be helpful either. Massage has been shown to alleviate pain symptoms of DOMS. The latest craze is using a foam roller to ease the pain of DOMS. There seems to be some evidence to support the use of foam rollers.
So if the pain of sore muscles after a new exercise is preventing from doing it again, don’t let it stop you. Your next exercise shouldn’t produce as many sore muscles, and if it does, try a massage or a foam roller to combat the pain and help you stick to an exercise routine.
Exercise is instrumental to good health and wellness for all of us, not just surgical weight loss patients. Dr. Shillingford’s hernia repair, gallbladder removal, and general surgery patients can benefit from routine exercise following their recovery from their surgical procedures as well. Many of Dr. Shillingford’s bariatric and general surgery patients come to his Boca Raton office from all over Florida, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville.