How To Reduce Muscle Soreness
That dull aching sensation after a workout can happen to anyone. When there is muscular exertion, usually 24 to 48 hours post-exercise, it can trigger soreness and pain. The discomfort can reach its peak at 24 and 48 hours. After that, it tends to subside.
Exercise is a vital part of an active and healthy lifestyle. It boosts lung and heart health, allowing the body to stay in perfect shape. But, as you increase the intensity, you start using more muscles, which ends up straining the body.
The problem is, you can’t avoid the soreness. This is a normal part of your growing process. But, there are some tactics that can help you ease the pain and manage the discomfort. If you want to know the best ways to reduce muscle soreness, you’ve come to the right place! Here, you will take a closer look at all the worthwhile tactics you’ve been missing.
Why Does Muscle Soreness Happen In the First Place?
After working out, the soreness sends signals to the muscle tissues, letting the body know that it has experienced some level of damage. According to experts, even though the causes of muscle soreness are complex, various activities can result in microscopic damage to the muscle fibers.
This is the kind of damage you experience while working out, but it shows up sometime later. It is what we call delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS is, in fact, a side effect of the natural repair process. It appears in response to the small muscle damage.
Anything from jumping, jogging, walking down hills, and strength training can cause some damage. But, the severity of the pain and discomfort varies based on how accustomed the body is to exercise. So, for some, the stiffness can be super uncomfortable, while for others, it can be a fleeting ache.
- The Soreness Is Lasting too Long. Should I Be Worried?
Having inflamed and torn muscles might sound extremely overwhelming, but it is not always a cause for concern. However, if the discomfort lasts well over 72 hours, then it is best to contact a specialist. You could be at risk of chronic inflammation, which might be affecting muscle repair and growth.
Based on clinical reports, it is important to give your muscles enough time to recover. But, if the inflammation and ache don’t subside, then you might need help to deal with the pain. With that in mind, there are many other ways you can use to ease the soreness and get your muscles back on track.
6 Tactics You Can Use Post Workout to Decrease the Soreness
Although there isn’t a quick fix, some methods can help you speed up the healing process. What you need are methods that aid recovery and are capable of keeping the body in shape. Here are a few options that might prove useful.
1. Use Water
Exercising when it is too hot can create a cellular condition, which makes the muscles vulnerable to post-workout micro damage. DOMS can especially happen in someone who is dehydrated, research shows.
So, what does water have to do with muscle recovery? Simple.
Water helps loosen the joints, control body temperature, and transport key nutrients all around the body. That’s how it helps the system create the necessary energy. People can try to:
- Drink water after exercise
- Shower with hot or cold water
In other words, anyone struggling with fatigue, dizziness, muscle cramps, and discomfort can make use of the beneficial properties of good hydration and bathing. They can provide the body with the right kind of sustenance and relaxation to boost the natural rejuvenation process.
Besides, submerging the skin in both cold or warm water can improve tendon flexibility and knee function. According to a small-scale study, subjects who used heat therapy manage to increase their ligament extensibility.
The heat from taking a bubble bath can get the circulation going. With better circulation, it is easier to relieve the tightness and relax the muscles. So, people don’t need to apply extra force when wanting to flex the knee. Whereas a cold shower can provide you with stress-relieving properties and an analgesic effect.
2. Do a Self-Myofascial Release (SMR)
Also known as foam rolling, SMR is a practical technique for soothing soreness, muscle tightness, inflammation, and pain. Most importantly, it can help with the range of motion, allowing the body to relax and ease the discomfort.
A 2015 review explained that foam rolling could help ease DOMS and increase range of motion. The way it works is relatively simple. You will be using lacrosse balls, foam rollers, or a massage stick to help with fluid retention.
Although more research is necessary to study its full extent, SMR can be a great way of getting muscle performance on the right path. Start with a firm roller when the discomfort is at its peak to create that additional pressure. But, if you need something more subtle, you can use lacrosse balls instead. Any option you choose can create the desired effect.
3. Get a Meal 30 Min After Exercising
By supplying the system with minerals, vitamins, and nutrients, you can speed up muscle repair and the natural rejuvenation process. Proteins, some carbs, and fruits are a great way to start. But don't forget to add some amino acids to your diet—especially products like quinoa, soy, eggs, meat, etc.
The reason amino acids are so important is that they reduce muscle fatigue, help the body build more muscle, and ease soreness. These are all key factors when looking to heal quicker after an intense workout.
If you need an extra boost that can set your body on a proper recovery journey, then a solid protein powder can do the trick. At Spartansuppz, you can get yourself strong amino acids recovery products that can give your muscles all the nutrients they need. Here, you can get only the best quality products tailored to your needs.
4. Skip the Painkillers
Although you might want to pop a pill and call it quits, NSAIDs are not the best choice for muscle soreness. If you do take a pill, you can sacrifice some valuable components of the muscle rebuilding process.
Drugs like Naproxen and Ibuprofen can curb the pain. However, they could also prevent the muscles from getting stronger and larger. A two-period crossover study showed that Ibuprofen is not a proper treatment for DOMS and muscle damage. Otherwise, the chemicals can interfere with the natural rejuvenation process.
Of course, if you are dealing with acute ligament injury or strain, then you will need to use NSAIDs. But, if the painkillers are not necessary, you should let the body heal naturally.
5. Get Some Sleep
About 40% of the normal blood flow to the brain happens to increase when we are in a deep sleep. It helps restore our energy and balance hormone production. When we are asleep, the body releases prolactin. This is a hormone packed with anti-inflammatory compounds. It basically helps heal the achy joints.
The effects are not immediate, but they add up. Sleep boosts the creation of new proteins (protein synthesis) to promote normal muscle repair. If you pair that with better blood flow, it is easy to see how sleep can support muscle recovery. So, if the soreness and pain are holding you down, take a nap and let your body recover.
6. Do a Light Muscle Massage
Lastly, it is time to work on your tightness and pain. A simple muscle massage can be a great way to relieve stiffness and pain. By reducing the tightness and boosting blood flow, you can help the muscles move better and become more flexible.
Although a single massage can't get rid of the pain, it can temporarily restore your flexibility and ease the symptoms of DOMS. The more you massage the affected area, the easier it is to ease the pain. Eventually, the soreness can subside, and the muscles can feel good.
Since you may not know how to do a professional massage, you can still get the desired result with simple circular movements. Use pressure and repeated movements to work with the knots and soreness.
Muscle soreness and pain are not pleasant to deal with. Depending on how much you’ve been exercising, the intensity of the pain will vary. Even though you can’t get a quick fix, a couple of options can help overcome the discomfort. All the tips and tactics listed here can help you achieve exactly that. They are practical methods meant to help the muscles. From using water to sleep and light massage, you can ease the pain.
Have you tried any of these strategies? Did they work for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!