I don’t quite like the feeling of muscle soreness. Do you? It’s just irritating. Every small or involuntary action that you make, like lifting your hand, for example, sends spasms of raw muscle pain and waves of discomfort up your body, making you take every step cautiously. Muscle soreness thwarts every small action that you’ve set up for yourself and that is no way to live. That is why sore muscle relief becomes important and that is exactly what we will be discussing today. Continue reading for various ways to get rid of sore muscles.
What are Sore Muscles?
Sore neck and shoulder muscles
Typically you’ll experience sore muscles after workout or a strenuous day of physical activity. This is caused by Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). This occurs when there is a sudden change in activity that exerts more pressure on the muscles and causes exertion. The muscles becomes sore as a result of that and take some time to adjust to the sudden pressure that is put on them. If you continue to exert the same pressure on the muscles then they will get used to the stress and the pain will diminish.
Muscle soreness should not be confused with a sprain or strain in the muscles which are caused by a sudden jerking action. You will typically experience sore muscles after 8-12 hours of physical activity unlike a sprain. The burning sensation that sore muscles have to is caused by the lactic acid build up in muscles. This is released in the body to supply the excess need of oxygen which is not possible for the blood to fulfill. Being an acid, it burns every time the muscle is moved.
What a Pain in the neck!
Natural Methods of Relief
The sore muscles and joints pain isn’t pleasant even though you know that something good has brought it on. Then what is one to do about it? Continue to bear it or take some measures to remedy the pain? Here are some muscle sore relief methods that you can take up.
Cold Packs or Hot Packs…or Both?
Hot Packs – Soreness, overexertion
Cold Packs – Injury, inflammation
Kat’s Handmade Herbal Hot/Cold Packs
The most effective sore muscle remedy is Hot Packs. Better still, take a warm bath, shower or sit in a jacuzzi right after a strenuous workout for instant relief. By using a Hot Pack or some other warm therapy you soothe the aching muscles and also send fresh blood/lymph to the area to “clean” out the lactic acid and wastes/toxin build-up. Apply this Hot Pack for 10-20 minutes several times a day for a day or two.
Cold Packs are specifically for treating injured or inflamed conditions. Cold reduces the blood flow to the muscles by constricting the blood vessels. Therefore, the pain and inflammation will ebb away. If a Cold bath is not possible then use a cold pack on the injured/inflamed muscles and the pain and inflammation will die down. Apply these cold packs for 15-20 minutes every hour for the first two to three days.
Both Hot Packs and Cold Packs can be used in some situations quite effectively as contrast therapy. When you need to bring the healing power of fresh blood/lymph to the area AND bring down inflammation contrast therapy is perfect for this. If inflammation IS present, start with a Cold pack; 10 minutes on and then transition to a Hot Pack; 10 minutes on. Cycle a few more time and do this at least 2-3 times per day for 2-3 days.
Certain anti-inflammatory capsules are designed to reduce the pain and ease the symptoms of sore muscles. These would include aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen etc. Make sure to consult your doctor before taking these pills.
If you aren’t into the synthetic medication forms, then you can try some herbal medicines. Ginger, dong quai, St. John’s wort, sage, arnica, devil’s claw and others are known to lead to instant relief.
Gel, cream, pill…Arnica is superior at natural pain control
Other Methods for Relieving Sore Muscles
- Giving the sore muscles a light massage with the help of aromatic oils is known to provide relief.
- Doing light stretches will help to open the constricted muscles and lead to relief.
Gently, slowly, easy.
- Swimming is another very effective way of bringing in sore muscle relief. The movement of muscles used helps to reduce the inflammation and pain.
- Start taking vitamin supplements to aid the body in handling the stress.
- To prevent sore muscles after running or jogging or any other physical sport, make sure that you do some warm up exercises, that focuses on working all muscle groups.
- Increase the intensity of the workout steadily so that it does not lead to a strain on the muscles and cause sore muscles.
- Drink water, water, water, water!
- Gentle stretching after Hot Pack use is highly recommended!
This article can also be viewed at Simply-Living-Simply