Anyone who works out knows what being sore feels like. Whether you have just started working out or are a fitness veteran, there’s almost no avoiding the feeling of soreness. Some people don’t mind the feeling at all, others find it to be annoying. If you’re in the latter category, we have a few ways to help alleviate muscle soreness.
But first, let’s talk about the difference between muscle soreness and pain. There are a couple things you can look for to distinguish between soreness or pain-
Soreness is only felt in the muscles and usually only lasts for 1-3 days and can improve through stretching or movement. There is a dull “achy” feeling in the muscles when you are at rest. There is also a slight burning feeling when you are exercising that muscle. Soreness will eventually go away on its own.
Pain, on the other hand, can affect both muscles and joints. A sharp pain or ache can be felt while you are exercising or at rest. While soreness only last 1-3 days, pain can linger for much longer and may not go away unless you treat it properly. If the pain is extreme or does not subside, you should probably go see a medical professional.
Now, let’s get into the different things you can do to alleviate soreness-
1) Good Nutrition- Eating enough nutrients will help your muscles recover faster, possibly alleviating the sore feeling faster. Make sure you are getting all of your necessary carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals!
2) Rest- Getting the proper amount of rest will allow your body to repair itself after a tough workout. Not getting enough rest can cause you to feel even more fatigued and can hinder the recovery process.
3) Hydration- Staying hydrated helps prevent the muscles from tightening up, which can help reduce your soreness.
4) Epsom Salt Baths- The main component of epsom salt is magnesium. The magnesium is absorbed through the skin and helps alleviate soreness by flushing out the lactic acid. It also helps reduce inflammation and improves muscle and nerve function.
5) Ice Baths- Ice baths can help numb the muscles and relieve some of the soreness felt the next day. (one study said that it relieved soreness by about 20%).
6) Stretching- The feeling of soreness can be amplified if your muscles are tight. Stretching can help alleviate the tightness, thereby reducing some of the soreness.
7) Warming Up- If you’re still feeling sore from the day before but you still want to do a workout, warming up can help alleviate the sore feeling.
8) Foam roller- Small studies have shown using a foam roller can help alleviate soreness, but the long term effects have still yet to be determined.
There you have it! Try some of these out and see what you like best. And remember to differentiate between soreness and pain. Knowing the difference is key to preventing any further injury. If you have any questions, feel free to call us at 770-277-8741.