There is nothing worse than over exerting your body causing you to wake up in pain in the morning struggling to get out of bed. Muscle soreness is common and there are number of different techniques you can use to help prevent and get rid of muscle soreness fast.
Every time you workout or perform physical movements such as lifting furniture you create microscopic tears in your muscles. The more physical the activity your performing the more tears your muscles will experience. Your muscles become sore due to these microscopic tears and and the waste that is built up in your muscles during a work out, mainly lactic acids. As your muscles begin to repair themselves they actually become stronger. This is how body builders and athletes grow muscle becoming more ripped, faster, and stronger.
When experiencing sore muscles and looking for relief you must first determine what caused your muscles to be sore. Post-workout muscle soreness is normal. Some people even view it as a sign of getting in a good workout as their torn muscle fibers begin to repair and become stronger. Generally you will begin to experience this a few hours after a workout especially if you haven’t been very active lately. Most people experience a localized soreness or stiffness in the muscles that were worked but you shouldn’t lose any range of motion.
Soreness Caused by Muscle Strains
Soreness caused by muscle strains are usually the result of a long overdue visit to the gym where you push yourself too hard and wake up the next day not able to get out of bed. Soreness resulting from a strained muscle has similar symptoms to common post-workout soreness but you will also lose mobility or range of motion. The best cure for strained muscles is time. You should relax and use the following tips but also remember to never over exert yourself again. Strained muscles can also be the result of a more serious underlying injury that could require medical attention. If your range of motion doesn’t come back within 24-48 hours you should consult with a doctor.
Steps to Relieve Muscle Soreness
Pre and post exercise stretching will help warm your muscles up before a work out preventing serious tears or strains as well as help your body to cool down. Spasms can occur after workouts causing muscles to further contract resulting in even more soreness. Gentle stretching will not only help relieve this but will increase the blood flow to the muscle helping repair the damaged tissue faster.
Ice therapy is one of the best ways to relieve sore muscles. Simply apply an ice pack against the sore muscle for 15 minutes to 20 minutes. Longer exposure to cold can lead to a skin injury. Ice will help reduce swelling and fluid build up. You can repeat this four or five times a day until the soreness is gone.
Heat therapy can be very beneficial 24 hours after you experience any soreness. The first 24 hours should be dedicated to ice therapy and nothing else. Applying a heat pad to a sore muscle will help increase blood flow and help push out irritating chemicals that make you feel sore. Heat therapy will also help with regaining your range of motion.
Treat yourself to a massage. Massages help increase blood flow to your muscles and reduce inflammation, making it not only very enjoyable but useful technique. You should always receive a massage from a licensed professional who knows what they are doing or you may risk further damaging your muscle.
Light exercise can help remove some of the lactic acids in your muscles as well as increase the blood flow. Once again, increasing the blood flow and oxygen to your muscles helping to aid with recovery. You should keep it light by going for a walk or a light jog.
Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin help by blocking certain enzymes in the body that cause inflammation. Make sure to follow all warnings on label and never exceed the daily dosage.
Preventing Muscle Soreness
A healthy diet will boost your immune system and speed up recovery times. Potassium is important to help prevent cramping while working out and soreness. Foods that have high levels of potassium include:
- Oranges or orange juice
Drink plenty of water. Doctors suggest 64 oz. of water a day but you may need more depending on your work out routine. Our body is made up of 80% water and dehydration alone can lead to sore muscles. Hydrating will also help to flush toxins out of your body shortening recovery times.
Stretching not only helps get rid of sore muscles but can prevent them as well as serious injury. Stretch for fifteen minutes before and after your workout.
Don’t over do it! We have all tried to break out of a lazy slump in life by starting a new workout routine. Starting slow and building up a routine will not only help prevent soreness and injury, but will increase your odds of staying with a program. Slow and steady wins the race.
Following these tips will help relieve and prevent muscles soreness. Treat your body right and it will treat you right. If you ever experience stiffness or soreness for more than a few days make sure to slow down and if in sever pain visit a doctor. Now get out there and exercise. You and your body deserve it!