Feeling sore after a workout isn’t the end of the world, but it sure doesn’t feel good, either. There’s nothing we want more after exercising than to sit back with a warm cup of tea and some calming painkillers to soothe those muscles.
But what do you do when you don’t have access to either of those things? Building muscle pain can keep you from moving on with your day. You need to find a new way to relieve sore muscles fast.
Keep reading for the most effective methods for helping to relieve sore muscles of all sorts.
The Best Methods to Relieve Sore Muscles
The list of methods to relieve sore muscles is non-exhaustive; it can vary among individuals and the cause of the muscle soreness. However, the following are some of the best methods that can be used for sore muscle relief.
Foam rolling, a heating pad or hot bath, cold compresses, massage, exercise, taking Epsom salt baths, taking a good rest, and consuming healthy foods.
Stretching increases flexibility and range of motion and helps to elongate and relax muscles after exertion. This can reduce pain, improve circulation and reduce the risk of further injury.
The best exercise tips include performing dynamic stretches pre-workout and static stretches post-workout as a cool-down. Progressive stretches target particular muscles and should be held for 1030 seconds.
Focus on slow, controlled movements to ensure proper positioning and form. During the stretch, push the muscle slightly beyond its comfort zone yet stop short of causing pain.
Massages knead and warm the muscles, releasing tension and improving circulation. By increasing circulation, massage helps remove lactic acid and other metabolic waste that can accumulate in the muscles, resulting in less stiffness and soreness.
Massages help encourage relaxation, allowing tense muscles to fully loosen and get the much-needed rest for recovery. Receiving a massage from an experienced masseuse is ideal.
The therapist can identify locations of tightness and focus on those areas. Certain massage techniques, such as deep tissue and aromatherapy massage, can be useful in providing further relief from muscle soreness.
When muscles are deprived of water, they tend to become tighter and more painful. Drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day helps to keep the muscles properly hydrated and functioning optimally. Drinking extra fluids before, during, and after a workout also helps to keep muscles hydrated and less vulnerable to muscle soreness.
After a workout, it is a good idea to drink a sports drink containing electrolytes such as sodium, magnesium, and potassium. This helps to replenish the electrolytes lost through perspiration.
It is also beneficial to incorporate foods high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium into your diet as these can help to alleviate sore muscles by supporting their contraction and relaxation.
Hot and cold therapy is recommended by many medical practitioners.
Hot therapy can relax tight muscles, reduce stiffness, and increase flexibility. Heat can be especially helpful for chronic conditions, such as fibromyalgia and arthritis, as it not only helps to relax the muscles but also reduces joint stiffness.
When using a heating pad or hot bath, you should start with a low heat setting and work your way up to a hotter setting. Make sure the heat is not too hot and is comfortable. Heat should be applied for at least 15 minutes and can be done several times a day if needed.
Cold therapy is great for reducing inflammation, reducing pain and can help with the healing process. Applying a cold pack for about 20 minutes can do wonders for reducing pain and discomfort.
Alternating hot and cold therapy can further help to soothe an aching muscle as the hot will open up the blood vessels and allow the cold pack to get to the area more easily.
Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release technique that helps restore balance to the body, improve the range of motion, encourage relaxation, and reduce pain. Foam rolling can be used on both large and small muscle groups and helps to break up adhesions and knots in your muscles.
To use a foam roller, lay the body part with sore muscles on the roller and roll forward and backward for about 30 seconds. You can also opt to dig into certain areas with the roller or stay in one spot longer if a certain area is feeling tight. Whenever you encounter knots, hold and breathe into the area to further release it.
Taking Epsom Salt Baths
Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, an all-natural mineral that helps to draw inflammation and toxins in the body away from your sore muscles. The salt can be added to a hot bath, and the magnesium and sulfate are then absorbed through the skin, providing pain relief.
An Epsom salt bath can also help to reduce swelling and relax tense muscles, making it ideal for those who suffer from chronic pain or regular physical activity. After soaking for about 20 minutes in an Epsom salt bath, sore muscles can be soothed and more manageable.
It is often formulated with natural ingredients like arnica and menthol that work together to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation. The cream is easy to apply to the skin and can be massaged in to really get the active ingredients into the muscles.
It can provide instant relief of pain and is available in a variety of strengths. For maximum effectiveness, it should be applied as soon as the soreness begins and regularly throughout the day.
Sera Labs is one of the leading brands of soothing creams that really help relieve sore muscles. Try it out, and for more information here, check out their website.
Ultimately, it’s important to listen to your body. If you already feel the pain, do some actions and be sure to give yourself proper rest. Figure out what relieved soreness in the past to best inform how to manage the current sore muscle tissue.
Understanding the Best Remedy for Your Sore Muscle
Considering all the methods that we discussed above will surely help to relieve sore muscles. These techniques can make the biggest difference in decreasing pain and improving your overall well-being.
Try them out and see what works best for you! If you need extra help, you can always talk to a physical therapist too. Take action today and implement one of these best ways to relieve sore muscles!
If you are interested in learning more about improving your health and fitness, be sure to check out some of our other blog content.