Whether they are the result of an exercise routine, heavy lifting at work or anything else that causes strain, sore muscles can be unavoidable. Exercising and an increase in physical active will naturally fatigue and stress your muscles. The soreness in the muscles typically means that your body is building strength and getting used to the activity. Luckily, there are a number of quick and easy things that you can do to help ease the discomfort of sore muscles.
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Performing a stretching routine, both before and after a workout, will help relieve aching muscles and possibly prevent the soreness from occurring next time, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It is important to note that you should never stretch with cold muscles. If you are stretching prior to a workout, you should do some jumping jacks and briskly walk for about five minutes before starting your stretching routine. Once you are warmed up, stretch the muscles that you will be working out during your routine. Once your workout is over, stretch the same muscles. This will not only serve as your cool-down, but it will also work to relax the muscles that have tightened, easing the soreness.
Using heat is an effective way to combat the pain of a sore muscle, according to DallasNews.com. Heat can be applied by either using a hot compress or heating pad or soaking in a warm bath. Using heat increases the flow of blood to the sore muscle, allowing it to heal quickly. The heat also helps the muscles relax. If your muscle soreness is caused by an injury, such as a sprained muscle, apply ice to the muscle for at least two days before placing heat on the injury. Applying the ice will eliminate any swelling in the injury.
If stretching and applying heat are not working on your sore muscles, there are over-the-counter medications that can aid in decreasing the aches, pains and inflammation that comes with sore muscles. Consult with your doctor or pharmacist about the effectiveness and safety of these medications; especially if you have an existing condition that is already being treated by medication.