577 Burnhamthorpe Road, Unit 1
Etobicoke, ON., M9C 2Y3

is pain after a workout normal

How To Deal With Pain After A Workout

Experiencing muscle soreness after working out isn’t a bad thing, because it means primarily that we’re exercising enough to bring about a change in the body, and that is the goal of exercise. It is an unfortunate stepping stone in the right direction. But while some soreness is perfectly normal, the discomfort of post-workout pain is something most of us would like to keep to a minimum.

No Pain No Gain

Of course, some people in the “no pain, no gain” mindset see post-workout muscle pain as a badge of honour. They believe that if you’re not in pain then you’re not doing enough… this is not true. After starting a new routine, you may feel some soreness for 24 – 48 hours afterwards. But if you are still sore three days after your workout, then you’ve done too much.

Delayed Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

You’ve made the decision, commitment and effort to pick up the intensity of your workouts – or to simply start working out at all – but two days later, bam!  The agony of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) hits.  Every staircase, every time to have to sit down or get up from sitting, even rolling over in bed can seem like an impossible task that ought to be avoided (if you could).

Is Soreness After Working Out Normal?

Understandably, we wonder why we are so sore and, of course, we question if working out can really be all that good for us if this is how we feel afterwards.  It is tempting to throw in the towel and go back to the couch.

But we know that if we want a strong, healthy body now and in the future, we need to challenge ourselves.

Allow Us To Explain Why DOMS Happens And How To Stop It.

Mild muscle pain can be a natural side effect of any kind of physical activity and this is especially so when you have started a new routine. It generally occurs between 24 and 48 hours after you’ve completed your routine.  The soreness experienced is because of small microscopic tears that occur in the muscle. It is your body’s mechanism for adapting your muscle to strengthen it.

How Long Is It OK To Be Sore?

In the majority of cases, the symptoms will often ease after 72 hours but the length of time that the soreness is felt varies from person to person so you may experience soreness a day more or less than that.

5 Ways To Alleviate The Pain Of Post Workout Muscle Soreness

There are a number of ways you can alleviate the pain that is making you dread the sight of stairs.

Sports Massage

Studies have found that a sports massage is one good way to reduce the effects. It will move the fluid and blood around in your body which can help heal the microscopic tears in your muscles.

A Light Workout

Another way to treat DOMS is to complete a light workout. Like a massage, this will increase blood flow to help speed up muscle repair.

Foam Roller

If you can’t get to a massage therapist, working the pain out of your muscles using a foam roller can provide a level of relief. Talk to your physiotherapist for specific techniques you can use.

Hot & Cold Showers

Alternating the temperature during your showers, ie flipping from hot to cold and back again, may help reduce muscle pain.

Epsom Salt Baths

Epsom salts are high in magnesium, a mineral that is used in the muscles to relax them, so a warm, soothing bath with a good cupful of epsom salts dissolved in it can be an excellent help to your recovery.

Foods That Help Reduce Post-Workout Soreness

There are few nutrition hacks for muscle soreness that you can build into your day which have been proven by studies to help not only with your muscles but contribute overall to your better health.


Whole cherries or tart cherry juice decrease inflammation and speed up muscle recovery time.  Make sure these are unsweetened.

Green Tea

Green tea comes up again and again as a great source of catechins and antioxidants that help reduce muscle damage from exercise.  Green tea is always a go-to for weight loss and boosts mental function without a lot of caffeine to get addicted too.


Tumeric is one of the best and most studied spices regarding its ability to reduce inflammation.  You can add it to rice dishes and curries, scrambled eggs or consume in a tea or golden milk, which there are lots of great recipes for.  One way to make this is:

Golden Mylk Recipe

2 cups of water

¼ teaspoon ground tumeric

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup almond milk or coconut milk

Raw honey

Boil water and add spices and water to blender and blend.  Stir in milk and add honey to taste.

Always Stay Focused On Your Long Term Goals

When thinking about whether or not you’re going to the gym today and the pain you may have after, think about the benefits you will gain. Also remember when performing the right exercises in the correct intensity, (sets, reps, weight, time under tension) you will have minimal soreness and still benefit.

It may take some practice to find out the right amount of sets, reps, and weight to use for your workout to get the most out of it and that’s why we’re here. Life Force Physio has a great gym program and our experienced staff create a program that is appropriate to your current fitness level and safely bridges the gap between where you are today and having the physical ability for the fun activities you want to continue forever.  Join us for some fun and exercise to become the best you!



* Please be aware that information on this web site is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding an injury or medical condition.

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Life Force Physiotherapy
577 Burnhamthorpe Road, Unit 1
Etobicoke, Ontario, M9C 2Y3

Tel: 416 207 9395
Fax: 416 207 3862
Email: info@lifeforcephysio.com

Physiotherapy Clinic Hours:
Monday to Friday 6 AM - 9 PM By Appointment Only

Physio Supervised Exercise Program Hours:
Monday, Wednesday & Friday 12 PM - 7 PM
Tuesday and Thursday 8 AM - 2 PM

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