So How Do You Prevent Muscle Soreness
Here are a few general guidelines that are useful:
1) If you are a beginner, take it slow If one word could best define how to prevent muscle soreness, its by using a progressive approach to exercise . If you havent worked out in a while, or workout intermittently, it may only take 10-20 minutes to get a serious workout that gets you pretty sore the next day. No need to try to push yourself too hard if you dont normally workout consistently.
2) Try not to complete 10-20% more exercise volume, or intensity from one workout to the next. If you normally jog 5 miles at a given pace, then dont go much above 6-7 miles the next workout. Rather, progress your running workouts over time. In terms of lifting weights, if you normally complete 4 sets of chest related exercises, dont go much above 5 the next time. Certainly you can exceed the 10-20% threshold, but the chances of experiencing severe muscle soreness increase.
3) If completing unfamiliar exercises, use lighter weight Given the exercise is already unfamiliar, it may not take much weight, or intensify to create pretty intense soreness.
Alternate Cold & Hot Treatment Method
A combination of cold and hot treatment can help get rid of leg soreness and relieve sore muscle cramps in other parts of your body. Contrast baths are also great for sore muscles in your hands. Contrast water therapy uses immersion in hot and cold water and is useful for relieving sore leg muscles after running or working out. Contrast water therapy helps to stimulate blood flow to the affected limbs and accelerate recovery from exercise.
According to the North American Journal of Medical Sciences, contrast baths can help to relieve muscle soreness after exercising. Researchers found that alternating between 1 minute in hot water at 100°F and 1 minute in cold water at 60°F for a total of 6 minutes had a marked effect on the intensity of muscle pain.6
How to use:
It can be a challenge to use contrast temperature therapy to relieve all types of muscle pain. You can use hot and cold packs alternately on your legs or shoulders to help relieve muscle soreness.
Here is a way you can use contrast baths for relieving leg or hand muscle pain:
Cramps Sprains And Strains
A muscle cramp, is a strong, painful contraction or tightening of a muscle that comes on suddenly and lasts from a few seconds to several minutes.
A muscle sprain is an injury to a ligament . In a sprain, one or more ligaments is stretched or torn. A muscle strain is an injury to a muscle or a tendon .
In a strain, a muscle or tendon is stretched or torn. Sprains and strains are generally caused by trauma or overuse.
Muscle soreness from cramps can usually be addressed with home care. Sprains and strains may require professional care and physical therapy.
Don’t Miss: Scab Inside Nose Won’t Heal
Immediately After Your Workout Use A Foam Roller Or Massage Gun
Self-myofascial release is a technique used to release tension in muscles and connective tissues , helping to move the fluids that accumulate in the muscle after exercise.
A review published in November 2015 in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy found that foam rolling may help increase range of motion and reduce DOMS. Foam rolling, as well as other types of massage, increases circulation to deliver more nutrients and oxygen to the affected area, which helps reduce swelling and tenderness, Arent explains.
If youre interested in trying a foam roller, look for a softer version to begin with. Firmer foam rollers allow you to apply more pressure, but they can be intense if youre unaccustomed to them. Lacrosse balls can also be handy tools to keep around, as theyre ideal for smoothing out hard-to-reach spots, like the glutes, lats, calves, and the illiotibial bands, Arent notes.
Massage guns are another popular tool to promote post-workout muscle recovery.
Percussive self-massage devices work similarly to massage in general, Arent says. These handheld machines deliver rapid vibrations that, when placed on your muscles, can help promote blood flow to that area. Many massage guns come with attachments of various shapes and sizes to better target different-size muscle groups.
Some Muscle Soreness Is A Good Thing But It Shouldnt Last For Too Long
Torn, inflamed muscles sound bad and we certainly want to minimize inflammation in our normal daily lives, because past research has shown chronic inflammation contributes to many chronic diseases but some degree of inflammation can be an important signal for muscle growth and repair, according to Arent. If you help your muscles recover from the damage, theyll likely grow back bigger and stronger, so its not so much that we dont want inflammation to occur, but we want to get it under control as soon as possible, Arent says.
Keep in mind that you dont have to be sore after a workout in order for it to be effective. Soreness means damage, and damage is fine in small doses, but you dont have to create soreness-inducing damage every time you work out. That shouldnt be your goal, Dr. Schroeder says. You dont have to be sore to know you had a good workout.
Read Also: Will An Ear Infection Heal On Its Own
Why Your Muscles Feel Sore
When your muscles get extended beyond their normal movement range, or have to do more work, like lifting weights, than theyre accustomed to, it can cause tiny tears in the muscles fibres. Those tears are the major cause of the soreness you feel.
Just like when you break a bone and the point at which it heals is larger and stronger than the surrounding bone, your muscle fibres are larger after the tiny tears heal. Thats how your muscles grow.
Bottom Line: Time Should Heal Your Soreness As Long As Its Not Something More Serious
While youre recovering, its also important to watch for signs of a deeper health problem. A syndrome called rhabdomyolysis occurs when overworked muscle fibers die and release the protein myoglobin into the bloodstream, which can lead to kidney damage and even failure. This is a medical emergency, and along with extreme muscle pain, weakness, and swelling, the main sign is often cola-colored urine. If you notice these signs, get to a doctor ASAP.
If you experience sharp pain during your workout, or if the soreness doesnt start improving after a couple of days, that can be a sign that youre actually injured and need to see a health care professional.
Additional reporting by Korin Miller
You May Like: Books On Self Love And Healing
Understanding Muscle Soreness How Much Is Too Much
L. Nicole Krum, DPTUniversity of Maryland Medical Center
So youve decided to focus on getting a little healthier and you start an exercise program. Your first workout goes great, and youre really proud of yourself. That is, until the next morning when youre so sore you can barely get out of bed. You ask yourself, What happened? Did I do something wrong? Did I do too much? Dont let muscle soreness after a workout get you down!
Heres what you need to know to prevent that soreness from derailing your workout program.
Muscle soreness is a side effect of the stress put on muscles when you exercise. It is commonly called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS, and it is completely normal. DOMS usually begins within 6-8 hours after a new activity or a change in activity, and can last up to 24-48 hours after the exercise. The muscle pain is due to inflammation within the muscle, which is one of the main triggers for this muscle soreness.
You are most likely to experience delayed muscle soreness after one of the following:
- Starting an exercise or workout program for the very first time
- Adding a new activity or exercise to your workout
- Increasing the intensity of an exercise already in your program
- Performing the same activity over and over again without a sufficient rest break
How much pain is too much?
How can you tell if your soreness is the normal kind of soreness?
Roll Out Sore Muscles
Foam rollers are cheap and effective tools for breaking up knots and sore spots in your muscles. Research shows that foam rolling breaks up scar tissue and knotting in your fascia, which is important because these knots are often the root cause of sore muscles and joints. So spend a few minutes in the morning and evening rolling out sore spots.
Also Check: First Stage Dog Hot Spot Healing Stages
Symptoms And Causes Of Muscle Soreness
According to doctors from the Mayo Clinic, most people look for remedies to cure muscle soreness because of tension, stress, minor injuries, or overuse. Depending on the severity of the muscle tissue damage, you may just have a mild twinge in the affected muscle. Or, the muscle pain could be so severe that it is painful to move your body.2
Chronic conditions like back pain and fibromyalgia can cause muscle soreness that is relentless and ongoing. Dr. Melinda Ratini on WebMD says that chronic muscle pain can be a dull ache in one or more muscle groups, a throbbing pain that comes and goes, or it can be shooting pains that are intense and difficult to bear. If the pain is ongoing, then this can also affect your mental health and lead to depression, frustration, and anger.3
Another type of muscle pain that can cause varying degrees of soreness is delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS. Doctors from the National Health Service say that DOMS can appear 2 or 3 days after intense physical training. This can result in muscle aches, stiff muscles, skin tenderness in some muscles, and temporarily decreased strength.4
Other reasons for sore muscles that cause aching and throbbing sensations are the flu, poor blood circulation, a mineral deficiency, not drinking enough fluids, rheumatoid arthritis, Lyme disease, and polymyalgia rheumatica .
Theres Also Evidence To Suggest That Topical Arnica Can Do The Trick
Arnica has been used as a natural remedy for muscle soreness for years. Its derived from the flower Arnica montana, whichis found in the mountains of Siberia and Europe.
Although more research is needed, one 2013 study found that topical creams and ointments containing arnica effectively relieved pain and inflammation brought on by intense eccentric exercise.
Read Also: How To Heal Cut In Mouth Fast
Eat For Rapid Recovery
Even if youre eating at a calorie deficit, you want to make sure to get enough healthy proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, all of which play important roles in repairing and maintaining muscles and warding off sore muscles.
Beyond that, consider strategically timed protein supplementation.
A couple of hours after working out and when you sleep are two times when protein synthesis increases, so a post-exercise scoop of Beachbody Performance Recover and a pre-bedtime scoop of Beachbody Performance Recharge help ensure your body access to amino acids.
Amino acids are your bodys building blocks, explains Denis Faye, M.S., and former executive director of nutrition at Beachbody. Consuming them at the right times assures theyll be there when you need them.
Beachbody Performance Recover also helps you fight post-workout pain by including pomegranate extract into its formula, which a study at the University of Austin, in Texas, found to reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness by an average of 25 percent.
And if you also consume a serving of Beachbody Performance Recharge, our overnight protein supplement, before bed, youll double down on soreness-fighting phytonutrients with a dose of tart cherry extract.
How Sore Is Too Sore
Sometimes, sore feels really sore. Like, too-sore-to-exercise sore.
“As mentioned, movement is actually a great way to help relieve sore muscles, so you don’t need to skip your workout just because you’re sore. In fact, light exercise will actually help get your blood flowing and reduce your symptoms,” says Murray.
But what about when sore feels too sore? Is there even such a thing?
“Typically, muscle soreness peaks around day three and starts diminishing afterwards. If your soreness persists beyond three days, it means you overdid it you pushed your muscles a little too hard. But, prolonged muscle soreness can also be a sign of an injury,” warns Murray.
If your soreness persists beyond three days and is accompanied by pain that’s sharp, limits your range of mobility or affects your gait, it might be more than muscle soreness and warrant evaluation by a sports medicine doctor.
“The only time soreness means that you should approach exercise with caution is if your pain is more indicative of a serious injury than it is of exercise-induced soreness,” says Murray. “And if that’s the case, it’s also a sign that you should see a doctor about your pain.”
Read Also: How To Heal Leaky Gut With Supplements
When To See Your Doctor For Muscle Soreness
Run-of-the-mill soreness doesn’t warrant a doctor’s visit. “But there’s a fine line of what’s too much soreness,” Iafrate says.
Soreness can feel achy, while a muscle strain, which is more serious, may be accompanied by swelling, bruising, and pain, according to Harvard Health.
Iafrate says if your soreness lasts longer than a week, it could indicate something concerning. As long as you have a safe workout regimen, the risk is low for these conditions, but they may occur:
- Ruptured muscle or tendon. Iafrate says that this will be accompanied by severe pain, out of proportion to what you’re accustomed to, and inability for the muscle to function.
- Muscle contusion. This presents as a bruise, but it can cause deep tissue damage if it’s severe, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
You’ll also want to take debilitating pain, swollen limbs, or darker-than-normal urine as a sign to seek medical attention, according to the ACSM. Iafrate suggests seeing a primary care physician or a sports medicine specialist if you’re concerned about muscle pain.
Heat Treatment For Muscle Soreness
Heat treatment is a very effective method for muscle pain relief. Heat packs or hot water bottles can be applied to sore muscles that are caused by chronic pain conditions like back pain or to help acute muscle injuries heal quicker. Heat packs are also a good way to relieve sore thigh muscles, neck pain and shoulder blade pain.
Dr. Jan Sambrook says that heat is a safe home remedy for most muscle aches and pains. A heat pack stimulates blood circulation to the affected area and relieves muscle cramps, spasms, and promotes healing. Natural heat remedies are great for treating over-exertion muscle injuries, chronic pain conditions, and abdominal cramping.5
How to use:
To make your own heat pack for relieving soreness from muscles you can use the following method:
Read Also: How Long For Anal Fissure To Heal
Clik Here To Heal Your Aches And Pains With Joint Mobility Training
Note: theres a free program here to help you get started. Go through this little mobility sequence just once and youll be amazed at how good you feel at the end. And youll probably learn a lot about yourself in the process like what you need to work on in the future. Trust me. Its well-worth taking the time to try it out. You can thank me later.
To your health and success,
CST, CST-KS, NSCA-CPTFitness Professional
Reduce Your Stress Levels
When youre under stress, your body cant prioritize muscle recovery as well. In fact, researchers in a 2014 study found that periods of high stress were associated with slower recovery times. Meanwhile, lower stress levels were linked with faster recovery times.
It may not always seem possible to reduce the amount of stress in your life. Many people find mindfulness activities like yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises helpful for coping with stress, but that doesnt mean you have to try them or that theyll always work. You can opt for any activity that helps you relax.
You May Like: Fruits That Heal Nerve Damage
Where The Injury Occurred
Some injuries are more frequent and problematic than others. While they can be attributed to inactivity and improper stretching, other injuries are due to overuse and strain. Shoulder and lower back pain can sometimes be mistaken for injury when its just soreness.
Below are some common areas of your body where injuries can occur during a workout or intense physical activity:
- Low back strain This is the most common injury, resulting from weak muscles in the back due to prolonged inactivity, sitting, or improper lifting techniques.
- Shoulder strain Shoulder joints have a wide range of motion repetitive motions such as throwing or swimming can often lead to overuse and rotator cuff injuries.
- Wrist strain Your wrist is a complex joint that offers a high degree of mobility. Too much weight or repetitive motions can place unintended stress and cause injury.
- Knee pain Also known as runners knee, the pain occurs around the kneecap and you may hear a creaking, popping, or grating sound.
- Ankle sprain Twisting an ankle can happen anytime. It can occur while walking, running, or just simply losing your footing.
- Pulled groin This is fairly common and occurs during squats, sprints, or lunges.
If you think you are injured, look for signs of redness, bruising, or swelling, said Gregory. If you see swelling in a focused area, its a key indicator that your body is trying to heal or that something more serious is going on.