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It’s common to experience sore, aching muscles and DOMS (Delayed-onset muscle soreness) after a workout. Don’t worry! It’s not a bad thing; it means – in short – that you’ve had a good workout!
Sore muscles usually occur 6-72 hours after you’ve worked out. During a workout, you’re putting a lot of stress on your muscles, so it’s completely normal to have aching muscles for a few days afterwards.
The proper name for sore muscles that happens post-exercise is DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. DOMS happens because you’ve caused damage to the small muscle fibres. You’ve essentially causing loads of tiny rips your muscles and now your body is repairing them.
The soreness is caused by your body repairing those rips, stitching them back together. Our bodies are great for healing themselves!
Although this sounds scary, seeling sore is actually a sign of your muscles getting stronger and more resilient.
Each time you ‘tear and repair’ your muscles, they become used to the strenuous exercise and make it easier in the future. That means, the more often you exercise, the less sore you’ll feel in the long run!
How to Treat Sore Muscles (DOMS)
Although DOMS is annoying and uncomfortable, it’s not dangerous. If you have an unusual ache that lasts for longer than a few days then see a healthcare professional.
It’s especially common for us pole dancers, aerialists, gymnasts, weightlifters and any athletes to suffer from DOMS and sore muscles for several days after a workout. After my first ever pole fitness class, I wasn’t able to open my front door due to DOMS!!!
You can, however, do a few things to help ease the symptoms of DOMS. Here are 5 ways to treat muscle soreness or DOMS.
1. Have a Hot Shower or Bath
One of the best things you can do to treat sore muscles is to have a nice hot bath. Run the water at the hottest temperature than you can manage. If you have a shower instead of a bath, then aim the shower head at the areas that ache, such as your shoulders.
To make your hot bath even more effective at soothing muscle aches, then add some Epsom Salts to the water. Epsom Salts help to soothe the pain from aching muscles.
2. Stretch Gently
Stretching and mild/gentle exercise is another excellent way to treat sore and aching muscles. Stretch all of your muscles gently from head-to-toe, or do 30 minutes of yoga or pilates routines for flexibility.
It’s important to warm-up before stretching, so do 10-minutes of light cardio first, or stretch first thing after your shower or bath.
Don’t stretch so that it hurts, you should feel the stretch but not overstretch your muscles, as this can cause an injury!
Related post: How to Get More Flexible in No Time!
3. Keep Rollin’ with Foam
Foam rollers are excellent. Massively underrated things! I was very sceptical before buying a foam roller, but it turns out to be one of the best things I own – for under $15!
Using a foam roller on your back and shoulders for 10 minutes on the floor was like have a really strong sports massage! For precise muscle pain, these spiky massage balls are great too, and you can roll on these on the floor too. They also feel amazing to use on aching feet!
For gentle muscle aches, use one of these softer foam rollers, whereas for deep and persistent aches, use a foam roller with a hollow tube made from sturdy materials.
4. Apply a Hot Water Bottle or Heat Pack
We mentioned earlier that you should be warm before stretching, well this is because our muscles work better when they’re warm. By applying heat directly to the sore area you are making this muscle more pliable and the heat will ease the pain. You can either use hot water bottles or reusable heat packs to help soothe your sore and aching muscles.
5. Treat Yourself to a Professional Sports Massage
Sometimes, you just need a professional to help! Getting massage therapy from a professional and experienced massage therapist can be very beneficial. Sports massage works the best for sports-related injuries, although be aware that a sports massage can be quite rough! Follow these tips and use a hot water bottle and have a hot bath as soon as possible after a sports massage to get the most benefits.
Bonus Tip: How to Prevent DOMS
You can prevent DOMS, or certainly reduce it a lot by following these tips:
- Always warm-up at the start of your workout
- Don’t over-do things
- Know your limits and don’t push yourself to the point of injury
- Always stretch and cool-down at the end of a workout
So, those are our top tips for recovering from muscle soreness! We hope you found these tips useful! Share this post with your friends who are always complaining about how sore they are!
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