What is Muscle Soreness?
We all know what it feels it when we have overexerted our bodies – the result comes in the form of sore, stiff and tired muscles. If you have begun a new exercise routine, lifted a heavy box or gone for a long walk, it is only natural that you will experience muscle soreness. Muscle soreness frequently occurs when you have engaged in an unusual level of physical activity and your muscles are not use to the strain.
What Causes Muscle Soreness?
When you push yourself physically, fibers in the muscles tear and as a result the body’s defense mechanism sends fluid into these areas – causing swelling The swelling triggers the pain, stiffness and soreness you feel. The body, however, repairs the injured muscle and it grows back stronger.
Different types of muscle soreness
- Normal post-workout muscle soreness is common amongst people who work out regularly. It generally occurs straight after a workout or several hours afterwards. Normal muscles soreness occurs as a dull but localized pain in the worked muscles. Although range of motion is not limited, tightness and temporary loss of strength may occur.
- Strained or overexerted muscles are common in people who have recently started a workout program. During their first few sessions they overdo the workout by pushing too hard or too fast. The symptoms are similar to normal post-workout muscle soreness but tenderness and painful tightness in the affected area may also be felt.
- Pulled or torn muscles occur when too much exertion was placed on the muscle – and the muscle was unprepared for amount pressure. Muscles may be partially or completely torn. If a small tear occurs, sharp pain is experienced in the affected area – this pain will occur if the muscle is used again. If the strain is severe, swelling occurs. When a large or complete tear occurs, extreme pain is felt and you are unable to use the muscle.
Help for Muscle Soreness
Treatment generally varies for different types of muscle soreness. For normal, post-workout muscle soreness, discomfort may be reduced by stretching the muscles and taking anti-inflammatories such ibuprofen or applying a heat gel. Muscles that are overexerted or strained need rest until range of motion is achieved.
If pain is severe, anti-flammatories may also be taken for relief but it best to consult a doctor. For pulled or torn muscles, ice the affected area immediately and consult a doctor. It is very important that when muscle soreness is experienced, exercising and any other physical activity is stopped. By continually using the damaged muscles, the healing time is slowed down. Remember never to apply heat to the affected as it increases the blood flow and swelling.
Natural remedies are a another highly effective treatment option for soothing, relieving and promoting faster healing of sore muscles. Herbal and aromatherapy treatments successfully reduces the need for prescription painkillers and anti-inflammatories while at the same time benefits overall health and wellbeing.
Aromatherapy oils such as Peppermint, Ginger and Pine essential oils have a wide variety of therapeutic uses and are excellent for musculo-skeletal conditions. Herbal and homeopathic ingredients such as Arnica, Filipendula almari, Magnesium phosphoricum and Symphytum officinale have powerful anti-inflammatory and tissue healing properties.
More Information on Muscle Soreness
Follow these helpful tips to reduce muscle strains, sprains, pulls, tears and soreness:
- Place an ice pack on overworked muscles after a heavy workout
- Drink lots water during a workout or sports activity to hydrate the body
- Warm up properly before your workout and remember to cool down afterwards to reduce the temperature of your muscles
- Stretch each muscle group gently for at least 60 seconds before and after your workout
- Massage the affected area to soothe tired muscles
- Increase your intake of supplements such as vitamin B, magnesium, potassium and calcium to strengthen muscles
- Know your limits and listen to your body, if your muscles are sore – stop exercising!