5 Ways to ease sore muscles after you work out

By:Meenakshi Chaudhary, Onlymyhealth Editorial Team,Date:Mar 21, 2015

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Exercises often leave you feeling fit and charged-up, but occasionally, you also feel some pain in the muscles after a new or tough exercise. Learn how to ease the pain to be able to keep going with the exercise regime.
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    Sore Muscles

    You may like to take aches you feel after work out as good pain which keeps reminding you that you are working hard to keep your body in shape. But this 'good' pain can also get uncomfortable and interfere with your daily activities. Know why you feel sore after workout and what you can do to ease them.


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    Why We Feel Pain After Exercise

    Your muscles get stiff and begin to ache after 24 hours or more after exercising. It is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). According to doctors, DOMS occurs due to injury to the muscles fibers caused by excessive or new exercise. The tiny tears send signals to the immune system to release white blood cells to begin the repair process. In return, the white blood cells release chemicals and enzymes, which are thought to be the cause of the resulting muscle pain. Coming up are tips to ease to muscle pain.

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    When the muscle pain is temporary and you don’t have much swelling, just give rest to the injured area to prevent further injury. Muscle pain is an indication that you need a time-out. Take a short break from your workout to give your muscles time to heal. Don't perform the same exercise while your muscles are aching.

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    Ice and Heat

    Apply ice pack within the next 72 hours on the affected area after an activity that lead to the pain. Cold is known to have analgesic properties that soothe the aches. After applying ice pack, apply heat to the affected muscles to warm them up before any activity, and then apply ice afterward to cool muscles down  to reduce the discomfort.

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    Over-the-Counter Pain Reliever

    If you don’t get any relief after rest and applying the ice packs, you may need to try some over-the-counter pain relief medications. These drugs can provide effective relief from muscle pain. Some over-the-counter pain relievers include Ibuprofen and Aspirin both of which have anti-inflammatory properties, which may be effective in relieving or even preventing muscle pain.

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    It may not be an anti-inflammatory medication, but it does have pain-relieving properties. Moreover, it has less gastrointestinal side-effects than ibuprofen and aspirin. Hence it is considered safer to use by the elderly or others who have intestinal problems. However, it is always better to consult your doctor before taking any medication.

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    Topical Pain Treatments

    These treatments are applied directly to the skin to ease aches and pains. Pain relieving therapies including gels and creams often contain ingredients such as menthol, methyl salicylate and capsaicin which are very effective in soothing muscles from the outside. In addition, the topical pain relievers may also reduce the risk of side-effects associated with some oral medications. However, you must be cautious before applying.

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    Preventing Muscle Pain

    Consuming a mix of carbohydrates and protein after the exercise is helpful in easing muscle pain. Before taking on an intense exercise, always do some preparation training with simpler activities likes walking down stairs or cycling. Avoid using painkillers before the workout as they could mask the symptoms of the underlying musculoskeletal injury, leading to overexertion and further damage to the muscles.

    (Image Courtesy : Getty)

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