After trying out a new exercise or exercising more excessively than before, one experiences tormenting muscle pain in about 24 hours. This pain is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and is a result of muscle fibers getting an injury after exercise. When the fibers get little tears, the immune system responds by sending white blood cells which release chemicals which might be the cause of the pain. Fortunately, you can cure your suffering from achy muscles or avoid getting hurt by following the next advices: Before Working Out
1. Take up an Easier Exercise First
If you want to start an intense exercise program, you have to prepare your muscles first by practicing easier forms of exercise. Train your muscles by walking downstairs or jogging downhill. Since you wouldn’t be walking against the gravity, you will exercise and prepare your muscles without suffering much.
2. Postpone Pain Relievers
Stay away from pain killers prior to your intense workouts. The medicines will not make you feel the severity of your musculoskeletal injuries. Hence, you might continue exercising while aggravating the damage done to your muscles.
3. Prepare a Snack
Since you would like to rest after working out, prepare the snack that you are going to eat after exercise before exercising. Studies show that consuming a combination of protein and carbohydrates after exercise helps in the relief of aching muscles. A good snack can be a bowl of cereal with milk or half a liter of chocolate milk.
After Working Out
4. Have a Break
Any pain is a signal coming from your body to care for the hurting area. Taking care of temporary muscle pain is possible by just leaving the injured muscles to rest for short duration before resuming the workout that caused it to hurt. This rest can be sufficient to prevent more injury.
5. Cool and Heat the Muscles
Exposing your hurting muscles to low temperatures make them benefit from the analgesic properties of the cold. During the first three days that follow the work out that caused muscle pain, apply an ice pack on the hurting locations. After that, before exercising, apply heat on the muscles; then after activity, apply ice if they are still aching.
6. Apply Topical Pain Treatments
These are gels and creams which can be spread on the skin to ease pains and aches outside in. The advantage of such treatments is that they have fewer side effects than oral medications. Active ingredients in these treatments include methyl salicylate, menthol and capsaicin. Although side effects are minor, do not apply topical creams or gels if your skin is irritated or broken.
7. Take Advil or Aspirin
The ibuprofen in Advil and acetylsalicylic acid in Aspirin are effective pain relievers that have anti-inflammatory properties. This will help your overcome muscle pain or prevent it as a whole. It is preferable not take refuge in pain killers except after you have tried the natural treatments of resting and using ice packs.
8. Take Tylenol
Unlike ibuprofen and acetylsalicylic acid, acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, doesn’t have anti-inflammatory properties. Nonetheless, it has effective pain-relieving properties. Moreover, Tylenol almost lacks the gastrointestinal side effects of the aforementioned drugs, making it a safer option for the elderly and those who suffer from intestinal problems.
When to Consult a Physician?
In case you tried all of the above treatments and the muscle pain lasted for more than a week, you should seek a physician’s help. Take into consideration that when you overexert your muscles, you might cause a long-term injury. Therefore, do not push yourself over the edge.