How to treat sore muscles after a workout

Posted: January 17, 2015 in Recovery, Sports and Fitness, Strengthening and Conditioning
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How do you treat sore muscles after a workout?theraband

After doing a strenuous physical activity, it is normal to feel sore one or two days after, especially if you did something that your body is not used to doing. This is referred to as DOMS which stands for Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness. DOMS occur 24 to 48 hours after your workout.

Your muscle fibers get stressed during your workout and small microscopic tears occur in muscle fibers which results in Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness. The mild muscle strain injury creates microscopic damage to the muscle fibers. Scientists say that this damage plus the inflammation that comes with these tears, causes the pain. Take note that these microscopic tears does not mean that you should stop exercising. On the other hand, getting DOMS is also not an indication that your workout was effective. You don’t have to feel soreness or pain every time you finish exercising for you to say that they worked.

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Why do I feel sore after I work out?
No one is exempt from getting sore after a workout. Beginner exercisers and elite athletes experience DOMS alike. This muscle soreness is simply a symptom of using your muscles and placing stresses on them that are leading to adaptations to make them stronger and better able to perform the task the next time. If you are a new exerciser, don’t worry if you feel sore after a workout. It is normal especially if your body is not familiar with the exercise, and it will go away in a day or two.

How do I prevent muscle soreness? How do I treat DOMS?
The exact reason why and how DOMS occur is not yet known. Several treatments such as ice, rest, massage, heat, and stretching have all been reported as helpful in the process of muscle recovery.

A significant amount of Flexibility is important even to non-athletes.

A significant amount of Flexibility is important even to non-athletes.

Stretching should always be included in a training program. This will keep the muscles from tightening and muscle spasms. Stretching is not only beneficial to treat Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness but more importantly to improve flexibility.

Click here to read more about STRETCHING.

Take a day or two of Rest while your body recovers from DOMS. If you want to keep exercising, try a different activity or do a lighter intensity.

Most importantly, always do a proper Cool-down after your work out. This will ensure circulation to flush out the waste products in your muscles after your exercise.

Research found that applying Heat to treat muscle soreness helps alleviate muscle soreness. The increase in muscle temperature allows more blood flow to the worked out muscles which brings fresh oxygen and nutrients. Applied heat to your sore muscles also helps get rid of chemical irritants that trigger pain.

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What should I do if I want to work out and I’m still sore?
You can still continue to train even when you feel sore, but don’t expect to set personal records or optimal performance. Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness affects only the muscle groups that you previously worked, so you can work out other muscle groups while the fatigue parts recover.

Simply put, take it easy when you’re feeling sore.

Following a well-planned Training Program is helpful to maximize your workouts, especially on sore days. Having a good exercise program will ensure that you can keep up with your training without further muscle damage and minimize injury.

Read more about DOMS here.

In summary:

  • Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness or DOMS occurs naturally and can be felt by anyone, especially if you do something that your body is not familiar with (ie. Progression in your training program, doing a new physical activity or sport).
  • Make sure that you warm-up before you workout and do a proper cool-down after to ensure blood flow to your muscles.
  • Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness goes away in one or two days but you can do some treatments to alleviate the soreness. Stretch the sore muscle or apply heat on it after you work out.
  • You can still work out even while experiencing DOMS. Work on a different muscle group or cross-train.
  • Be able to differentiate pain from muscle soreness and pain from an injury. DOMS usually goes away after a day or two. Also, the soreness from DOMS should not limit you from doing light to moderate activities.
    Seek medical attention if you feel stinging or persistent pain.

Follow a well-planned Training Program to ensure progress in your workouts while allowing enough recovery for your muscles. This will ensure that you maximize gains and minimize over-training and injury.

I can help you get the best out of your workouts from a Periodized Training Program. For more information or if you would like to contact me, check out my SERVICES page and answer the short form so I could know you a little better. Click HERE to continue to the services page.

I guarantee results, if you guarantee adherence.

Talk to you soon!

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