Among those who practice sports, it is common to feel muscle fatigue after excessive physical effort or a different workout than usual. On a technical level, these pains, which are usually located in the areas solicited, are called DOMS, an acronym that stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or muscle pain with delayed onset. In fact, they usually appear not immediately after the effort but in the following day or days, but within a week at the most they resolve on their own. If, on the other hand, they persist, intensify or move, moving from a muscle district to a specific and very restricted area, it means that in addition to DOMS there may be another dysfunction: functional overload.
Muscle overload: symptoms and causes
The structures of the joints (tendons, nerves, blood vessels and so on) are designed to carry out movements with a limit threshold of speed, duration, posture and strength. When these movements become repetitive, with the same sequence of action repeating in a cyclical way, or when they are performed with such intensity as to cause a repeated micro-traumatic action, there is a risk of irritation from muscle overload.
Functional overload occurs as a result of microtraumas that occur in conjunction with repeated movements during sporting activity. The body responds to microtraumas by putting in place a tissue defense mechanism, known as inflammation. A fundamental symptom of overload injuries is the sensation of pain, which can occur, in the less serious cases, only after activity, while, in the more serious ones, continuously throughout the day, with a significant reduction in the ability to move.
Lactic acid and muscle pain: is there a correlation?
Lactic acid is produced constantly within the muscles during the contraction and relaxation of the muscle fibers, in quantities that are greater the more intense and prolonged the physical effort is. However, the accumulation of lactic acid, despite the common belief, is not the cause of the feeling of fatigue and decreased performance. On the contrary, it would seem to play a neutral or even favorable role, helping to counteract muscle fatigue and reduce, for example, recovery times from fatigue to the adductor or other leg muscles.
What to do for muscle fatigue
To avoid reaching functional overload, it is advisable to pay attention to the signals sent by the body, such as muscle fatigue in the legs or in other muscle districts. If neglected and left to persist, in fact, it could require a therapy based on self-heating bands or plasters, indicated to reduce inflammation and discomfort, which can be prescribed by the doctor. Some remedies and precautions regarding sports habits and lifestyle can help fight muscle fatigue and reduce recovery times:
- Rest. Avoid overstressing the muscles and give the body time to recover from the effort;
- Varied and balanced diet. Mineral salts, vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates and even fats are all essential nutrients for the well-being of our body;
- Food supplements. Vitamin B12 reduces the feeling of tiredness and promotes the normal functioning of the nervous system, while L-Carnitine and amino acids are useful for recovering energy;
- Warm up and cool down. Helping the body to gradually enter and exit training is useful for loosening up the muscles and preventing trauma and injury.
How to promote recovery after functional overload
Treating muscle overload also means working on the causes that triggered it: otherwise, long-term results will not be achieved. Symptomatic treatment (discharge, hot or cold compresses, taking anti-inflammatories) is advisable in the initial moment, but must be followed by a more profound and incisive treatment, in the most serious cases guided by a specialized physiotherapist, a doctor and an orthopedic surgeon, that can make accurate diagnoses and indicate the most appropriate treatments for musculoskeletal diseases caused by biomechanical overload. A professional is also useful in deciding which types of exercise to keep and which to eliminate. In a second step, we will evaluate how to manage the overload, choosing between:
- Manual and instrumental therapy for pain reduction;
- Personalized cool-down;
- Load re-education;
- Possible support from a mental coach;
- Return to standard sporting activity.
FLOKY biomechanical stockings for functional recovery
RE-CHARGE is the first specific biomechanical sock for post-workout or competition recovery. It was developed by FLOKY to provide an improvement and regenerative support of all the biomechanical functions related to the tendons and muscles of the foot and leg, allowing the activation of venous return in total comfort and reducing muscle fatigue in the calf. By wearing RE-CHARGE during recovery, you eliminate toxins, regenerate the muscle and relieve the tendon parts of overloads and inflammation, drastically reducing recovery times from muscle overload. Its beneficial actions on the foot are many, including:
- Stability. The non-slip print increases adherence to the shoe, reducing the risk of sprains and increasing proprioception;
- Movement support. The thicknesses distributed on the sole of the foot reproduce the breech helix and favor the ideal and natural movement of the foot;
- Compression. The Tape System on the sole of the foot acts with a localized compression on the Lejars insole, activating the squeezing of the deep veins and helping the venous return with the aim of eliminating toxins and regenerating the muscles;
- Posture correction. The side screen-printed applications support the fifth metatarsal, improving posture during the day;
- Tendon stabilization and unloading. The Tape System acts like a second tendon, reducing vibration and preserving the Achilles tendon from possible micro-traumas and inflammations
- Recovery (BIOCERAMIC YARN). The bioceramics inside the fabric reflect human warmth and stimulate the improvement of the microcirculation resulting in rapid regeneration of cells and acceleration of the healing and recovery process.