Following workouts, muscle soreness is a common complaint of many athletes. This is caused by inflammation of the muscles due to micro-tears in the muscle fibers.
A Pain-Free Workout
In order to soothe sore muscles and achieve a pain-free workout, reducing inflammation is the first step in allowing the muscles to heal properly. Some methods are highly recommended by athletes and others have been well studied in regards to their effectiveness. Below are some common treatments for sore muscles and why they have been shown to be so effective.
It seems simple enough, however, some discredit or ignores the importance of rest when working out. Some athletes have reported that rest with no other forms of treatment has alleviated muscle soreness within 5 days. Engaging in simple workouts during this time allows for an active recovery.
What is an active recovery? This means that while healing from sore muscles, the body still engages in some form of simple exercises as opposed to an aggressive workout. Active recovery is much like a cool down after a workout where you stretch and cool down the muscle groups that need the most attention. This process stimulates blood flow and improves circulation which minimizes inflammation and decreases pain.
If inflammation occurs following a workout, applying ice to the injured area will help to decrease inflammation. This treatment method is most effective when applied within the first 48 hours following the onset of muscle soreness.
When muscle soreness presents, athletes have tried massage therapy which helps promote blood flow to the sore muscles which helps minimize inflammation.
If seeing a massage therapist isn’t possible, foam rolling may help in finding relief. A foam roller is a self-massage technique used to put pressure on the muscles performing a myofascial release. This type of massage relaxes and stretches muscle groups that can become sore due to strenuous workouts.
This technique all though sometimes questionable in the fitness world for its effectiveness is not harmful to the body so if it works for you, try it! Some have said that stretching does not help in preventing muscle soreness, however, stretching following workouts can help to improve recovery time. So give it a try, it can’t hurt!
Anti-inflammatory medications will help relieve some of the discomforts of muscle soreness, but will not affect the length of time for recovery of the muscle. The early administration of anti-inflammatory medications is most helpful.
Applying heat before and after workouts can help to decrease inflammation in the muscles. Heat after workouts aids in decreasing tension and stiff muscles whereas applying heat before a workout can help warm the muscles and make them loose for your workout.
Another method used by many athletes is chiropractic care which can help to correct misalignments and issues with inflammation. Our chiropractors in Atlanta can help in treating sore muscles as a result of exercise. Contact us today at (404) 855-2141 for an appointment!