When you perform activities that you might not normally partake in or finish a strenuous workout routine you can wind up with stiff, painful muscle aches afterward. This is a sign that your muscles have been overworked, which can result in the muscles fibers breaking down. Ideally, you will need to exercise gradually and build up your abilities before taking on a large task, so if you push your muscles harder than they can handle it can cause pain. Exercising at a strenuous level can also cause small tears in the muscles tissue or muscle spasms and cramps that can contribute to your discomfort.
Remedis for Muscle Pain Relief
- Stop Exercising and Rest- If you begin to experience muscle aches while you are exercising, stop what you are doing. Continuing to stress the muscle when it is in pain will increase your risk of injury. Once the acute pain of the cramp passes, start walking to get the blood flowing. Once you feel that the discomfort has passed, gently work your way back into your routine.
- Do Mild Stretches- Stretching a muscle that is experiencing a cramp can help relieve your discomfort. While stretching, gently knead the muscle in the center bulge of the tissue. Make note of how the muscle is contracted and work to move the tissue in the opposite direction to get it to relax. If you are feeling sore the day after a round of heavy activity, perform some easy exercises like a light walk or gentle stretching to encourage blood flow. Many people also find they are more prone to muscle cramps at night. To avoid this, make a point of performing a few stretches before you go to bed. This is particularly helpful for those that tend to develop cramps in the calves.
- Massage Your Muscle- When you develop a cramp while exercising, massage it gently. Use long strokes that move toward the heart to encourage proper blood flow. Massaging the muscles with a gentle amount of pressure can also help relieve stiffness and pain throughout the day.
- Apply a Cold Compress- Overworked muscles should be treated with cold. Take a cold shower after strenuous exercise, or apply ice packs to particular muscles that appear to be sore. These ice packs should be applied every 20-30 minutes for the first one to three days after the injury as necessary. This will constrict the blood vessels to help reduce inflammation in the affected muscle tissue.
- Avoid Heat- Many people believe that applying a hot compress will help relieve muscle pain, but this is not recommended. Heat causes the blood vessels to become dilated, increasing your risk of swelling. If the muscles remain swollen this will lengthen the amount of time it takes for the injury to heal. If you would like to use heat to relax your muscles, alternate between hot and cold compresses every 20 minutes.
- Bathe with Epsom Salts- Epsom salts contain magnesium that will help your body repair damage to your muscles and reduce swelling. Mix a cup of the salts into a warm bath and relax, providing muscle pain relief. Do not take an Epsom salt bath within the first 24 hours after exercising as this can promote dehydration.
- Rosemary- Rosemary reduces swelling, promoting better overall muscle health. Allow rosemary leaves to steep in water, and then use this water to make a compress. Apply the compress to an agitated muscle for 30 minutes to promote healing.
- Take Anti-Inflammatory Medicines- Medications like naproxen, aspirin and ibuprofen are designed to combat inflammation and pain. Make sure that you know how to take these medications properly and speak to your doctor or pharmacist to ensure that they will not interfere with other medications you might be taking.
- Get Enough Calcium- Those who get muscle cramps at night frequently do so because they are not getting enough calcium. Increase your intake of dairy products, spinach or broccoli to make sure that you are getting the vitamins you need. Calcium supplements may also be helpful for reducing cramping.
- Avoid Sports Creams- Several sports creams promoting hot and cold relief for muscles are available, but they do not do much to relax the muscles. Instead they relieve tension in the skin. Avoid using these with hot compresses as this can burn the skin, and try out any new products on a test patch before applying liberally to avoid potential allergic reactions.
- Go to Swim- Swimming allows you to move the muscles without forcing them to support your weight. Submerging yourself in cool water to swim will also take down inflammation that can be causing you discomfort while allowing you to stretch the muscles and encourage the blood flow.
- Warm Up Muscles- It is important to warm up so the muscles do not cramp. Perform a few stretches before you use your muscles for any strenuous activity, even if you are not planning on simply performing a few physical chores around the house. This will help get the blood flowing so you can reduce your risk of inflammation.
Take Certain Food and Fluids
- Given below are some home remedies which are recommended to patients for muscle pain relief.
- Bouillon- Drinking hot bullion before exercising can help you replenish the sodium that is lost when the body sweats. Consume one cup of warm beef or chicken bouillon before exercising to take advantage of this remedy.
- Banana- Consuming 1-2 bananas each day will increase your body's stores of potassium. This will help protect your muscles from damage.
- Milk- Milk is an excellent source of calcium. Making sure you have enough calcium in your diet is essential for healthy muscle development and preventing muscle damage.
- Water- Drinking plenty of water throughout the day, particularly when you exercise, is essential to keeping your body hydrated. This will also flus away toxins that can lead to cramping. Try to drink around a cup of water per hour, but avoid drinking in excess as this can deplete the essential minerals in your system.
Warning: When to Worry
If your muscle pain is severe and does not appear to be linked to any particular action it can be a sign that you have an underlying issue contributing to your discomfort.
- Some drugs or medications including cocaine, cholesterol medication and ACE inhibitors can cause muscle aches.
- An electrolyte imbalance can also lead to muscle aches.
- Some infections such as malaria, Lyme disease, abscesses in the muscles, trichinosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, polio or influenza can cause muscle aches.
- Some conditions such as dermatomyositis, polymyalgia rheumatica, rhabdomyolysis, lupus, or polymyositis can cause muscle aches.