No one likes post-workout sore muscles. When you exercise, microscopic tears occur in the muscle. As the muscle begins to rebuild itself (getting tighter, bigger, leaner, and longer) you may feel soreness for anywhere from 24-48 hours after the activity. Muscles need time and proper nutrients to rebuild and recover. Muscles grow at rest. Knowing that soreness means stronger muscles makes it easier to bear. What else can you do to ease the pain?
1). Foam Roller: Increases flexibility while providing massage therapy for before and after workouts. It looks like a long slender cylinder that rolls on the ground like a rolling-pin. Foam rollers are like a sports massage without the high price tag. Foam rollers break down soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue providing myofascial release and increases circulation.
http://www.thestretchinghandbook.com/archives/foam-roller.php (How to use your foam roller)
2) Lacrosse Balls: One of the best and most inexpensive mobility tool is a lacrosse ball. It hits deep into the trigger points and is easy to use on most tight body parts. Like the foam roller these balls help break down soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue providing myofascial release and increased circulation.
3) Biofreeze: this is a cold gel classified as a topical analgesic, which work through a counter irritant mechanism. This means that the menthol in Biofreeze creates a sensation that overrides pain signals to the brain. This process is known as Gate Control Theory, where nerve impulses from one stimulus block the nerves containing pain signals to the brain. Recent research also suggests that menthol may stimulate cold receptors in the skin that may help regulate pain as well. (www.biofreeze.com)
For as long as exercise is a part of your life, you will be sore. Learn to recognize normal and abnormal degrees of soreness. An average workout should leave you sore at a level 5 or less on a scale of 1-10. Remember that soreness means your muscles are getting stronger. Take care of them so they will take care of you. Post your favorite soreness relief method here!