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How to Soothe Muscle Pain

By Sara Butler

Here you are, all gung-ho to start a new workout routine. But after a day or two, you get out of bed feeling as if a ninja snuck into your room and beat you up! Muscle pain sure can take the wind out of your sails, but realize it’s a part of the process of conditioning your body. That doesn’t mean you have to simply put up with it, though. There are things you can do to soothe your sore and aching muscles. Here are a few different types of muscle pain and what you can do about it!

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

This is often referred to as DOMS and is probably the type of muscle soreness most familiar to people. It’s the feeling of being beaten up by ninjas when you get out of bed the morning after a hard workout. It begins sometime between 24 and 48 hours after exercise and it’s caused by tearing of the muscle fibers done during a challenging workout. Your body needs time to repair the muscle tissue and that’s why this type of soreness can stay around for a few days.

You can reduce the effects of DOMS by making sure to progress slowly with your exercise routine. This helps the muscles to slowly build over time as you gradually challenge them more and more. It used to be believed that stretching helped and though stretching is important, it won’t help you avoid this.

You can treat it with ice and massage. Unfortunately, nothing has been definitively proven to reduce DOMS but these things can offer a little bit of relief.

Long-Term Muscle Soreness

This is the soreness that can linger for more than three days after a workout. If this happens to you, then it means you really went all out with your workout, did something new, or haven’t exercised in quite some time. It’s a sign your body simply needs more time to repair.

To prevent it you should slowly ease yourself into new activities or longer duration and intensity. It is treated the same as DOMS, with ice and massage. Some gentle stretching certainly is called for too.

Muscle Cramps

A muscle cramp is not something you easily forget. It’s a sudden spasm or contraction of the muscle and occurs most often in the foot, hamstring, or calf. The most common reason people suffer from cramps is overuse of the muscle or straining, dehydration, and a depletion of minerals your muscle need to function correctly.

You can prevent it with a healthy diet and proper hydration during exercise. Regular stretching can also help.

Muscle pain is a natural thing that happens to your body, but you can reduce or avoid it by following a few simple steps!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mansfield, Tex.


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