Not knowing how to get rid of sore muscles can be frustrating, especially if you try to function regularly while dealing with this pain. When you exercise, your muscles tear slightly, which causes pain in your muscles. This is how your body builds muscle, as your existing muscle must tear to facilitate this growth. If you want to eliminate the pain that you experience as quickly as possible, you can try a few different methods after every workout, depending on what works the best for you.
1. Stretch it Out
When you tear the fibers in your muscles, they not only get sore, they also swell up. Once this swelling occurs, the muscles get even sorer, making it vital that you decrease this swelling as quickly as possible. Stretching helps blood flow throughout your body, which loosens your muscles up and helps them to heal more rapidly. It might hurt to stretch after a workout at first, but it will make you feel better in the long run. If you can stretch your sore muscles for about 2 or 3 minutes each, you will feel better in no time at all.
2. Apply Heat
If you can apply heat to your muscles, it allows blood to flow more freely, which can increase oxygenation. The fast your blood flows, the more rapidly it pushes out the chemicals that can lead to muscle pain. You can apply heat through the use of a heating pad or a warm washcloth compress, depending on what you have around the house. You should apply heat in the first 24 hours after your workout, as this is when your body needs this additional blood flow. You should only apply heat for about 20 minutes at a time and do not apply it more than 8 times per day.
3. Ice Your Muscles
Icing your muscles can alleviate your pain quickly because it soothes the pain almost immediately. Unlike some cures, ice provides immediate benefits, which is why many athletes go with this method. The ice limits the inflammation present in your muscles, which is what causes this pain in the first place. All you have to do is wrap your sore muscles in a cloth with ice for about 20 minutes at a time. You do not want to go any longer than this because it could lead to frostbite. You should also give your muscles the chance to warm up to room temperature before reapplying any ice.
4. Get a Massage
If you know someone who can give you a massage, take advantage of it. Massages help ease your pain in two different ways, making it highly effective. A massage can ease severe muscle pain because it provides a gentle compression of the muscle. This helps with circulation and allows you to work any pain causing chemicals out of your body. Once the pain starts to subside, shaking the muscles during a massage can further improve this circulation. You should always get a massage from a trained professional, especially when dealing with severe pain.
Since inflammation is what leads to muscle pain, taking some anti-inflammatory medication can help immensely. Things like aspirin and ibuprofen block certain enzymes from traveling within your body, which reduces the amount of pain that you feel. Read the directions and never take more medication that the recommended dosage on the box, even if the pain does not decrease.
6. Cool Down
End your workout with a less intense exercise like running or stretching. This allows you to work the lactic acid out of your muscles, which can prevent you from getting as sore in the first place. You might be extremely tired after your workout, but a cool down period can definitely help you when dealing with muscle soreness. If you can fight through the fatigue and the soreness, staying active after your workout helps out considerably.
7. Get Some Rest
Your muscles need time to recover, so give your body some time to heal. Make sure that you get enough sleep every night to give your muscles a chance to regenerate themselves. Even keeping your upright as you sit or walk puts a strain on your body, so get some sleep to allow your body to recover.
8. Change Your Diet
Following the correct diet before your workout can help you reduce muscle pain. This diet should include plenty of protein and amino acids, as this is what your body relies on your cell regeneration. You should also eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, as they have the vitamins and nutrients needed to keep your body functioning at a high level.