Muscle Recovery and the Importance of Physiotherapy for Bodybuilders

21. October 2019

muscle recovery and the importance of physiotherapy for bodybuilders

Exercise can be risky. Bodybuilders and athletes of all types are no strangers to discomfort as part of their training routines. But muscle pain works on a continuum from mild to severe. As a bodybuilder, it's important to know when it may be appropriate to seek out professional help, whether you are currently injured or not.

Gymjury’ is a term coined in a study by personal injury solicitors Hayward Baker. The word describes people getting hurt while pursuing their fitness goals. An investigation revealed that this phenomenon is suffered by almost half of Brits during exercise. 12% seek medical attention for such injuries, including sports injuries, and 5% must commit to long term visits with a physiotherapist or other professional. Perhaps the most alarming statistic of all is that 9% of ‘gymjury’ sufferers continue to exercise despite their pain. The desire to return to a workout regimen may be strong, but the practice is counterproductive.

There are many factors that may contribute to an exercise-related injury, particularly in bodybuilders. Failure to properly warm-up before a training session is one, and lack of knowledge about how to use gym equipment is another. Some athletes do not always set a proper pace for themselves, and the ego can often get in the way. Finally, lifting weights beyond one's current capacity can factor heavily. Injuries that are most common to the gym involve sprained ankles (21%), back injury (18%), broken bones (16%), chest pain (10%), and slipped discs (5%).

Common Types of Muscle Pain and Soreness in Bodybuilding

Muscle pain can be divided into three distinct types. The trick is to know how to distinguish between them as they are experienced.

Typical Mild Muscle Soreness

This generally appears on the day following a good, vigorous workout. It can last a day or so for an advanced athlete and up to three days for a beginner. The muscular function is unimpaired and the condition can trigger adaptation, leading to muscle growth and increased strength. Scientists don't know the precise cause for this type of soreness, but it's generally believed to be triggered by microtrauma in the muscle fibres, creating an excess of lactic acid.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

DOMS is a more severe type of discomfort that presents two days after a workout. This soreness is experienced deep in the muscle tissue, and it prevents full contraction. DOMS can occur after one embarks on a new training program or when training more intensely than normal. It can last for two full days for advanced bodybuilders. In this situation, it may not be necessary to take the day off, but instead, practice an Active Recovery Routine with the affected body part. This means your loads should be reduced by half, without taking your sets to muscular failure.

Injury-Type Muscle Soreness

Often sharp and immobilizing, these injuries can be immediately noticeable or not show up until later or even the following day. Pain from these types of injuries may be constant or triggered by certain movements. In this case, it is wise to practice the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) and to seek out professional help.

How a Physiotherapy Programme Assists with Muscle Recovery

Common sports injuries like sprains and strains can leave you on the sidelines for weeks, months, or sometimes even longer. And while bodybuilders typically aim to reach beyond their potential, it's best to be mindful of one's limits and push them with care. A physio can help you with your action plan to be your very best.

Bodybuilding is an inherently strenuous activity with a relatively high-risk factor. Overtraining, improper form and ego may get in the way of one's goals somewhere down the road. Injuries can be permanently debilitating, but there are clear precautions you can take to prevent them from forcing you to sit out. Good nutrition, hydration, and rest are some key factors to success.

Sports and athletics demand an attitude that strengthens both the mind and the body. Taking a holistic approach with physiotherapy will address your unique, individual concerns and allow the body to heal itself naturally. Some bodybuilders even choose to see their physio on a regular basis simply to take preventative measures against injuries that can end a career. Especially if you are serious about lifting professionally, the cost will not deter you.

The physio approach examines many factors, including the physical, psychological, cultural, and social elements that contribute to your wellness and athletic success. Supported by a medical practice, physiotherapy stimulates the body's natural processes with manual and non-invasive techniques.

Physios Can Support Your Bodybuilding Goals

London is home to many gyms and exercise centres, with fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes alike. Through their fitness careers, many will require a professional to help them heal an injury or to offer expert preventative support. A consultation with a physiotherapist can reveal the underlying issues such as compromised posture or scar tissue that may impinge on one's movement. Then, the issues can be addressed appropriately through a number of healing techniques.

Physiotherapy makes use of many modalities to promote healing and enhance performance. Spinal Manipulation can help desensitize painful structures, allowing normal movement, restoring balance and posture. Massage breaks up adhesions or scar tissue to improve one's range of movement. This method is also soothing, relaxing, and rejuvenating as it disperses the build-up of hydrogen that contributes to aches and soreness. The massage process facilitates the body's natural healing as recovery nutrients have room to get to sore muscles.

Finding a trusted physio in London is much easier than one might think. Experts are available to aid in your healing journey and to enable your maximum performance as a bodybuilder, an athlete, and a human being. Experts such as those at CK Physiotherapy are taking new appointments whether you have a current complaint or injury or just want to level up your bodybuilding game.

If you are ready to heal your body and enhance your training through physiotherapy, don't wait... contact us today!

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