We’ve all experienced how painful and frustrating muscle pain can be. Whether it comes from working out too hard or playing a few rounds of basketball, muscle pain in the arms, leg and back can really ruin one’s day and put a kibosh on one’s schedule.
While a little soreness won’t really put a dent in our day, there are instances when muscle pain is so bad that you end up shuffling like an old man. Luckily, muscle pain can be alleviated and managed so that you can go back to your daily routine.
Here are some tips to relieve muscle pain –
Take Warm and Cool Baths
Shower using hot then cold water in succession. This will help improve blood circulation, reduce swelling and lessen muscle pain.
Use a Heat Pack
While a hot and cold shower is good for reducing muscle swelling, persistent muscle pain can be alleviated with a heat pack. The heat will encourage blood flow to the sore muscles. The increased blood flow will stimulate the muscles and help it heal faster. To maximize healing, apply a heat pack to the sore muscle for 20-30 minutes every 2 hours.
Get a Massage
Our muscles become sore due to lack of oxygen. Sometimes, as we’re burning energy while doing a strenuous activity, a shortage of oxygen happens while stored energy (glycogen) is being converted into glucose and the muscles start stiffening. So the first thing we have to do is to get the blood flowing correctly. One way to do this is by massaging the sore areas with slow, even strokes. Putting just the right amount of pressure will do wonders to our circulation and lead to pain reduction.
Check out the Foam Roller
It’s hard to associate a foam roller with muscle relief, but this underutilized tool can actually be used for deep tissue massage. Foam rollers can be bought at sporting goods shops and come in different thicknesses. A medium sized foam roller is best for your basic sore muscle.
For immediate respite from the pain, put the foam roller on the floor and massage it up and down the sore areas.
Gently stretching your sore muscles is another quick remedy for relieving muscle pain. Plus, it’s great for blood circulation.
Experts used to recommend stretching before starting your workout to prevent muscle pain. However, new research shows that stretching before exercising doesn’t really prevent sore muscles or injury. It’s better to stretch when your muscles are already warm.
Do some Low-Impact Cardio Exercises
Muscle pain doesn’t automatically mean you should stop exercising. Doing low-impact cardio exercises can actually relieve sore muscles and muscle pain. This type of exercises can get rid of lactic acid in the area where your muscles feel sore and begin healing it. Try doing some swimming, walking or use a stationary bike as these exercises are good for relieving sore muscles.
Taking some low dose painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can also help ease the discomfort of having sore muscles. Antioxidants like Vitamin C are also a good bet.
You can’t really avoid having sore muscles or muscle pain. It’s a part of any strenuous activity or workout and our body’s way of telling us it needs rest. Just slowly ease your way back to exercising and pretty soon you’ll be back to normal.