Muscle soreness, or micro-tears in the muscle fibers, is a natural part of physical fitness or exercise. In fact, if you do not experience some mild muscle soreness in the immediate wake of your exercise routine, the routine may be a little too easy and you may not see the results you want or expect.
That being said, do not take things too far, because there is a big difference between sore muscles and injured muscles. Soreness always goes away on its own after some mild treatments, but injured muscles require immediate and long term attention.
If cardiovascular exercise is your thing, a good way to distinguish between soreness and injury is to keep an eye on your target heart rate. If your pulse is within the given parameters and you feel no sharp or stabbing pain, you’re probably okay.
Many of us want or need muscle soreness to dissipate almost immediately, especially if we have busy days ahead of us. In terms of oral medication, analgesic pain relievers, like Motrin, usually work pretty well, but they can be a little slow-acting. Stay away from prescription pain pills for muscle soreness, largely because the discomfort is too mild and you’ll get to much of a high.
Topical analgesics may be a good alternative in these situations. Most basically use heat or cold, and most also have either no odor or a pleasant scent. To see some of the best ones available, check it out for yourself.
Epsom Salt Bath
Admittedly, this remedy sounds like something your grandfather might have done back in the day, but sometimes the old ways are also the best ways.
There is actually pretty good science behind Epsom salts. They contain magnesium sulfate, an all-natural muscle relaxer that draws excess fluid from the tissues and reduces inflammation. Two cups of Epsom salt in a warm bath and a 20 minute soak should produce results.
This remedy is a little like a targeted Epsom salt bath, making it ideal for muscle soreness in just one area of the body, like knees or ankles.
Magnesium oil spray bottles are widely available. Just be sure to check the ingredients so you know what you are buying. A few quick pumps of this natural muscle relaxer should take the edge off the discomfort in a short time and will probably alleviate it all together shortly thereafter.
When muscles are sore, moving around and stretching is probably the last thing you want to do. Furthermore, it may also seem like a bad idea, because no one wants sore muscles to become injured muscles.
But light stretching is essential, or else the sore muscles become stiff muscles that inhibit mobility and become more of a problem. There are a number of no-impact stretches that require little or no effort but will make a tremendous difference in the way you feel.
Not all fruit juices will ease muscle soreness, but these two will.
Tart cherry juice has high levels of antioxidants, and in addition to their other health benefits, these particles often reduce muscle soreness pain. Lots of people add this juice to their post-workout smoothies.
Perhaps because of the combination of several chemical ingredients, apple cider vinegar also reduces soreness in many people. An apple cider vinegar bath might do the trick (one or two cups in a tub of bathwater), or drinking a little when mixed with honey and warm water might also be the ticket.
Muscle soreness may be a natural byproduct of most exercise routines, but if you know how to deal with it, soreness doesn’t have to slow you down.