How to Get Rid of Muscle Soreness
HOW TO GET RID OF MUSCLE SORENESS
I frequently experience sore muscles, and apart from not ever getting around to it, one of the reasons I don’t work out more often is the soreness I feel after each session. It even gets worse when I don’t get to exercise regularly or when I try exercising muscles that I don’t frequently work on. Muscle soreness can make you regret your decision to keep fit and you begin to wonder if it’s worth the effort which is why many people want to know how to get rid of muscle soreness.
I mean, come to think of it; you spend a chunk of your time running and jogging, you could hardly catch your breath but you kept at it anyway and when you are done, when you should be tapping yourself on the shoulders for a job well done, you begin to feel sore. For some, it happens immediately after the exercise while for others, it happens long after. The later is usually my experience and when it affects me; the whole day becomes infected with sourness.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking muscle soreness only affects amateurs. Even sportsmen that regularly work out still experience sore muscles. So, my brother, you are not in this alone. Moreover, there is good news as you don’t have to suffer the session through as some people choose to do. Why should you endure pain and suffering for no just cause especially when you can handle it more effectively?
Read on and you will discover how to handle muscle soreness when next it comes your way. Your physical health shouldn’t suffer because of this aftermath and you deserve to actually congratulate yourself after each session instead of dreading a looming demon. Practice the tips you learn here and you can have the best workout life ever…
What Causes Muscle Soreness?
Oftentimes, muscle soreness occurs when people overexert themselves or it can be as a result of some underlying physical condition. It is the gift you get after you seriously workout.
When you exercise vigorously, lactic acid accumulates in the muscles. But that is not what makes you get sore. What lactic acid really does is to serve as stored oxygen for the muscles to use when oxygen depletes. What causes muscle soreness is known as delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). The real culprit is that your muscle swells and this gives room for invasion of white blood cells known as prostalglandins which are also anti-inflammatory. The buildup gets worse as days goes by in some cases and that is why muscle soreness gets worse for some people with the passing of days.
Facts about Muscle Soreness
- Contrary to popular belief, stretching before and after workout doesn’t minimize soreness. It is actually inconsequential.
- The more you exercise, even after developing muscle soreness, the more the soreness reduces. This is about exercise-induced pain relief more than any other thing.
- Doing unusual warm up before working out will actually help reduce muscle soreness
- Any activity that increases the flow of blood to the muscles after workout will greatly reduce muscle soreness. Such activities include massage, low-intensity workouts and so on.
- If you gradually increase the intensity of your workout, say by 10%, then the chances of developing muscle soreness will be greatly reduced.
- Cool down periods after exercising in no way reduce muscle soreness since it is only good for removing lactic acid from the muscles and lactic acid has nothing to do with sore muscle in the first place.
- Surprisingly however, some people look forward to the soreness after workout, but if you are like me, you want to know how to get rid of muscle soreness fast.
How to Get Rid of Muscle Soreness
Soak in the Tub
Sore muscles and heat don’t go well together. So, if you want to get rid of muscle soreness, fill a tub with warm water and soak in it. Remain in the tub till the water cools which should be about 20 minutes. You can add Epsom salt to the water to help ease muscle soreness. Allow the salt dissolve in the warm water before soaking in the tub. Epsom salt is available at drugstores and local pharmacies.
Have an Ice Bath
This is used by colleges to help ease muscles after training sessions and games. Ice bath reduces muscle swellings because of its cold temperature. Of course, it’s not easy to bear this treatment and you may have to suck in a few breaths but after your body adjusts to the temperature, it begins to do its full work. This method is highly effect and relieves within 15 minutes. If the thought of bathing with Ice scares you, then an ice compress will also works just fine, only slower. If you are using a bag of ice, let there be a piece of clothing separating your skin from the ice.
Hot and Cold Shower
This is a combination of the two methods described earlier. Have showers that contrast between hot and cool temperatures. You will increase blood flow with this method and the muscle inflammation will be greatly reduced via the contrast. While having a 5 minutes shower, alternate between 15 seconds of both hot and cold temperatures each.
R.I.C.E. is a popular treatment option to get rid of muscle soreness. R.I.C.E. means Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Engaging in these four activities will remove muscle pain. Here is how to remove muscular pain with R.I.C.E.
- By resting, you will be taking a break from the rigorous activities that made them sore in the first place. If you have sore muscles, it isn’t time to increase the intensity of your workout routine but rather the time to let things slow down
- Make an ice compress or bag and apply on the sore area several times daily. You can also use a bag of frozen ice cubes in plastic bags. Never directly place ice on your skin. If you have to use ice directly, let there be piece of clothing between you and the ice
- With a compression bandage, you can reduce inflammation of the sore muscles. Buy a bandage over the counter and apply as directed. If you are susceptible to blood clot, consult your physician before taking this step.
- If you can do so, elevate the area having the soreness. Raising it above the heart, if possible is the best option. Even if it can’t be above the heart, under no condition should you let the sore muscles sag.
Therapeutic massage may be expensive for you and too summarized. In this case, you can use a foam roller. Foam roller is along cylinder-shaped product that allows you to self-massage. It is a cheap technique for getting rid of sore muscles. You can get a foam roller at any good sports store. By foam rolling, you will be setting your fascia tissue more at ease to loose your muscle tautness and make it easier to stretch. To use a foam roller; roll the foam in a gently manner along the sore muscle area, repeat the action 6 times a week and carry it on for 15 minutes. You can watch Youtube videos to see firsthand, how to use foam roller to ease your sore muscles.
This Indian spice is highly effective to work against sore muscles. When taken in high dosage, curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. After any rigorous workout that is likely to leave your muscles sore, take a gram of this capsule. It is not advisable to add as spice to the food as it will bury every other taste in the food and make it unbearable. This and any other natural herb that soothes sore muscles will do. I advise to stay away from painkillers especially Ibuprofen if you workout rigorously and will need to frequently take this medication.
Increase Protein Intake
Nothing affects our bodies like what we eat. One of the most certain ways to get rid of muscle soreness is by boosting your intake of protein. Protein is even more necessary for those who just adopted a new workout plan or those who did intense workout that their bodies aren’t normally used to. If you don’t have protein at hand, protein supplement will do just fine. By taking protein, your body will recover faster from soreness attack.
Eat Diet Containing Fatty Acids
Protein isn’t the only thing you need to increase in your diet. You should also increase your consumption of fatty acids. Note that you should avoid food with high cholesterol, fats and sugar. The time to eat junk food isn’t when you have sore muscles. Eat a lot of vegetables, nuts, fish, whole grains and dairy products. You can ask your doctor for supplement recommendation if accessing or eating any of these will pose a challenge.
NSAIDs and Pain Relievers
Over the counter medications like aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen will help reduce inflammation and swelling of muscles and relief from soreness. However, as I stated earlier, it is best to take some strong pain relievers only once a while. If you will need to take pain relievers frequently, then don’t opt for this. They can counter affect the muscles and cause them to slowly repair. Also, although they are highly effective, long term usage can cause liver damage. If you have to use pain relievers at all, use only for a few days.
Massage is expensive and time consuming, but is is also effective and rewarding. Whether it is a regular massage that targets the area of your soreness, a deep massage or sports massage, massage works well to relieve from muscle soreness. It is advisable to get a massage if your muscle soreness is as a result of doing workouts that is alien to your body. If your muscle soreness is really serious, foam roller may not cut it and other treatment methods may take too much time to really be of immediate help. That leaves you with massage and a thoroughly targeted massage will loosen the swellings and tightness of the muscles.
Do More Exercise
It is no longer news that in some cases, the cause is the cure. Don’t however make the mistake of thinking the same workout that got you into the situation is the cure. Instead any exercise that will get blood to flow to the muscles is what will relieve the muscles from soreness. As the blood flows to the joints, marrows and muscles, it will serve as a lubricant and will ease the tightness and soreness of the muscles. Low intensity workouts will greatly help to get rid of sore muscles.
Drink Water after Workout
Workout leave you dehydrated afterwards. This can make the body revolt by making your muscles sore. Moreover, part of what makes the muscle sore is that there is no lubricant to make it flexible and loose. Drink enough water to get rid of muscle soreness. In fact, you should also drink water before workout to reduce the chances of developing sore muscles after workout. To know if you have enough water before and after workout in your body, do urine test.
When to See a Doctor
Remember we said earlier that sore muscle isn’t merely limited to post-workout symptoms. If you have sore muscles and you haven’t exercised in a long time, it is advisable you visit the doctor. If you also get sore muscles over the barest physical exertion, then you should also visit your doctor. There are several other situations that warrant a visit to the doctor which include;
- If the sore muscles comes with accompanying signs like dizziness, fever, stiffness and some other uncommon symptoms
- If the inflammation of the sore muscles shows rash or other skin irritations
- If you have tried any of the methods stated above and there is no improvement after 1 or 2 days
- If the area around the infection shows signs of infection