We get it. Not everyone has the discipline to wake up every morning and endure the pain of working out. Your body’s achy and you’re stuck in a dilemma: to hit the gym or to skip the gym.

The answer will depend on the type of soreness you are experiencing. Working out can help relieve the pain and stiffness, but can also cause further damage and worsen the soreness.1 If you are in pain from trying a new workout routine or had an intense workout session, that’s normal, so it is generally safe to continue. However, some soreness is caused by an injury, and in this case, it is best to avoid exercising until the soreness has subsided or until you have received the proper treatment. 

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What Causes Sore Muscles?

There are many factors causing soreness, including overuse, dehydration, or even a medical condition. 

Overuse injuries are the most common cause of sore muscles. Using a muscle too often or too hard can overwork it, leading to inflammation. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and soreness. Overuse injuries can occur from activities such as running, weightlifting, and other forms of exercise. Repetitive movements such as typing and playing musical instruments can also lead to overuse injuries. Alternate target muscle areas during the week when working out to get toned without overuse. Focusing on one target area for an entire workout routine can be harmful. 

Dehydration is another culprit. It is so easy to get so engrossed in lifting those weights that you forget to hydrate.2 A big no-no. Not having enough water in your body can lead to fatigue, muscle cramps, and pain. Dehydration can also cause headaches and dizziness. Drink enough water throughout the day to keep hydrated. 

In some cases, muscle pain can be caused by a medical condition. 

  • Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes widespread pain and fatigue. 
  • Arthritis causes inflammation and pain in the joints. 
  • Extreme fatigue and difficulty sleeping can be symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

They say that prevention is better than a cure to prevent sore muscles; stay hydrated, take breaks during exercise, and avoid overusing muscles. If you are experiencing chronic or severe muscle pain, seek medical advice.

What Causes Leg Pain?

Different conditions can cause leg pain. Most commonly, leg pain is caused by:

  • An underlying medical condition, such as arthritis or a pinched nerve in the back.
  • Muscle strain or sprain, tendinitis, or a fracture.
  • Lack of exercise, poor posture, or a sedentary lifestyle. 


Causes of Leg Pain

Leg Cramps Or Charley Horses

Leg cramps, or charley horses, are typical leg pains that affect the lower legs. The exact cause of leg cramps is unknown, but they are often associated with dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and/or muscle fatigue, resulting in involuntary muscle contractions. Leg cramps are extremely painful and can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes and can occur at any time of the day. 

In the event of a leg cramp, follow our quick remedy guide:

  • Stop any activity and gently stretch the affected muscle. 
  • Apply heat or cold to the area to reduce the pain and discomfort. 
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can be used to help relieve the pain.
  • For frequent or severe leg cramps, speak to a doctor as there may be an underlying medical condition causing the cramps. 

To prevent leg cramps, stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet, and stretch and massage your legs to relax the muscles and relieve tension. 

Fractures And Stress Fractures

Fractures and stress fractures are two types of injuries that can cause severe leg pain. Both types of injuries can be extremely painful and can lead to a long recovery period.

A fracture is a complete break in a bone usually caused by a single traumatic event, such as a fall or a direct blow to the leg. Symptoms of a fracture include severe pain, swelling, and the inability to move the affected area. It is important to seek medical attention if you suspect a fracture.

A stress fracture is a tiny crack in the bone caused by overuse or repetitive motions, such as running or jumping. Symptoms of a stress fracture include pain that worsens with activity, swelling, and tenderness to the touch. When suffering from stress fractures, stop the activity causing the stress fracture and seek medical attention.

Treatment for a fracture or stress fracture typically involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Surgery may be required for more serious fractures. Physical therapy may be needed to help restore strength and mobility. In some cases, a cast or splint may be necessary.3

It is important to take the time to properly heal from a fracture or stress fracture. Returning to activity too soon can cause further injury and delay healing.

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is a common condition that affects the Achilles tendon, more commonly known as Achilles heel. The tendon consists of a band of tissue connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone. It is caused by overuse or injury to the tendon, resulting in inflammation, pain, and stiffness. Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include pain and stiffness in the back of the heel, swelling, redness, and warmth around the area. 

Like fractures, Achilles tendonitis can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Risk of further injury can be minimized by doing stretching and strengthening exercises to help improve flexibility. Taking over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen can reduce pain and inflammation. 

For serious injuries, surgery may be recommended to repair the tendon. This procedure involves making an incision in the back of the heel and stitching the tendon back together. After surgery, physical therapy may be recommended to help with the recovery process. 

To prevent Achilles tendonitis from occurring, you may follow these tips:

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Wearing supportive shoes
  • Avoiding activities that are too strenuous or repetitive 
  • Seek medical attention when if you experience any pain or discomfort in the back of your heel

Types Of Leg Pain

Leg pain can be divided into three main categories: neurological, musculoskeletal, and vascular. 

Neurological Pain

Neurological pain is caused by damage or disruption to the nerves in the body. It can be caused by medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, stroke, and nerve damage due to diabetes. 


  • Burning sensation
  • Tingling
  • Shooting pain
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty with coordination


  • Medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Lifestyle changes
  • In some cases, surgery may be necessary

Musculoskeletal Pain

Musculoskeletal pain is caused by damage to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, or bones. It is usually caused by overuse, repetitive motion, or a sudden injury.


  • Aching
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness in the affected area
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Warmth


  • Rest
  • Physical therapy
  • Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce inflammation and pain
  • In some cases, surgery may be necessary


  • Maintain good posture
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Stretch regularly
  • Wearing supportive shoes
  • Using proper body mechanics can also help reduce the risk of injury
  • If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your legs, see your doctor to determine the cause and find the best treatment plan

Vascular Pain

Vascular pain is a type of leg pain that is caused by poor circulation or a lack of blood flow to the legs. The most common cause of vascular pain is peripheral artery disease (PAD), which occurs when the arteries in the legs become narrowed or blocked due to plaque buildup. This can be caused by smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, and other lifestyle factors. Other causes of vascular pain include deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, and arterial insufficiency.


  • Cramping or burning sensation in the calves, thighs, or feet
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • A heavy feeling in the legs


  • Seek medical attention 
  • Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet
  • Medications, such as anticoagulants, to reduce the risk of blood clots
  • In more severe cases, surgery may be needed to widen or bypass the blocked arteries.

When To See Your Doctor For Leg Pain

Like all pain and diseases, it's important to know when to see your doctor for leg pain. Most cases of leg pain can be treated at home with RICE and over-the-counter medications. However, if your leg pain persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, it may be time to visit your doctor.

Seek medical help If your leg pain is severe, sudden, or accompanied by swelling, redness, or warmth, which may be signs of a serious medical condition such as a blood clot or infection. Pain that is caused by a fracture or other injury may require medical care.

Your doctor may refer you to a specialist if your leg pain is caused by a medical condition such as arthritis or diabetes. Your doctor may recommend imaging tests, such as an X-ray, to help determine the cause of your leg pain.

Relieve Leg Pain With the Firefly Recovery Device!

The Firefly Recovery Device is a revolutionary device that can help relieve leg pain and improve mobility. It is a lightweight, low-profile device that fits snugly around the calf and uses advanced electrical stimulation technology to reduce pain and inflammation. Clinically tested and proven, it is designed to provide relief and reduce soreness from a variety of conditions. Many athletes have found it has helped relieve soreness resulting from Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and muscle strains. 

The Firefly Recovery Device  is easy to use and can be worn for longer periods of time. It is also adjustable, so you can customize the intensity of the electrical stimulation to suit your needs. Whether you have a chronic condition or are just dealing with occasional pain and stiffness, the Firefly Recovery Device can help you get back to feeling your best.


Relieve Leg Pain with the Firefly Recovery Device

Final Thoughts

Working out with sore muscles can be beneficial in some cases, but in other cases, it can cause more harm than good. Understand the cause of your soreness, and take the necessary steps to prevent further injury. If in doubt of the kind of pain you’re experiencing, consult a medical professional.

If you’re suffering from leg pain, there are a variety of remedies available to help alleviate your pain. You can try stretching, foam rolling, massage, and using the Firefly Recovery Device to help reduce inflammation and improve circulation. Taking the time to properly care for your body is the best way to prevent further injury and to ensure that you’re able to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle.

Itching to effectively boost your recovery even further? Fret no more! Recover faster, train harder with Firefly, the revolutionary device trusted by athletes and Olympians. Talk to us to learn more!


Further Reading: 

Atlanta Track Club Partners with Firefly Recovery

USC Daily Trojan - Firefly Fuels Sports Recovery Movement

ESPN - The Science Behind Athlete Travel


Should you work out with sore muscles?

It is generally not recommended to work out when your muscles are sore. Exercise can put additional strain on sore muscles and can increase the risk of injury. Take the time to rest and allow your body to heal before engaging in strenuous physical activity. 

How is leg pain diagnosed?

Leg pain is typically diagnosed by a medical professional through a physical examination and review of the patient’s medical history. Imaging tests such as X-rays and MRIs may also be used to identify any underlying conditions that may be causing the leg pain.

Can leg pain mean heart danger?

In some cases, leg pain can be a sign of a more serious condition such as a heart attack. If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of a heart attack, seek medical attention immediately.

What diseases start with leg pain?

Leg pain can be a symptom of a variety of diseases, including peripheral artery disease, diabetes, and arthritis. It can also be a sign of an infection or a tumor.

Why do my legs feel weak?

Leg weakness can be caused by a variety of conditions, including muscle fatigue, nerve damage, and certain medical conditions. If your legs feel weak, it is important to speak with a doctor to determine the underlying cause.


  1. Geneen, L. J., Moore, R. A., Clarke, C., Martin, D., Colvin, L. A., & Smith, B. H. (2017, April 24). Physical activity and exercise for chronic pain in adults: An overview of Cochrane Reviews. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5461882/ 
  2. Cleary, M. A., Sitler, M. R., & Kendrick, Z. V. (2006). Dehydration and symptoms of delayed-onset muscle soreness in normothermic men. Journal of athletic training. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1421497/ 
  3. R;, M. T.-G. (n.d.). Stress fractures. National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32119425/ 
June 20, 2023