Studies attempting to identify the best ways to alleviate the muscle soreness that follow a strenuous workout are numerous, but to date, a therapy that consistently relieves delayed muscle soreness has yet to be found. Delayed muscle soreness begins 24 to 48 hours after an intense or unusual exercise session, and usually dissipates after 72 hours. There are a few therapies that offer some relief from muscle aches if you do them immediately following the exercise session.
Apply ice as soon as possible following the event. Ice reduces swelling and eases the inflammation that may accompany your muscle soreness, reducing your level of pain.
Stretch out those sore, tight muscles to lessen the aches and pains. Stretch to the point of mild discomfort, then stop, hold for 30 seconds and repeat three or four times. Bouncing or stretching a cold muscle can lead to injury, so warm up first, breathe deeply and perform static stretches. Make it a habit to always stretch each major muscle group immediately after strength training and vigorous exercise.
Soak in a jetted hot tub, direct the jets at specific sore spots, sit back and let the heat and water penetrate to offer therapeutic benefits, alleviate tightness and soothe those aching muscles.
Add 2 cups of Epsom salts to a hot bath to draw toxins from the body, sedate the nervous system, reduce swelling and relax the muscles. The benefits of Epsom salts have been known for years and they are the main ingredient in many of the fancy bath salts.
Apply aromatic and analgesic balms to relieve pain by penetrating the skin and reducing muscular discomfort due to overexertion. The relief is temporary, but welcome.