Muscle soreness is a common occurrence among athletes. Muscle soreness is not always the most pleasant feeling, whether it’s because you are overexerted, strained, or even just sick. Inflammation or myositis is the common side effect of muscle soreness. Inflammation occurs when there is an increase in the number of cells and the amount of waste, known as cytokines, released inside muscle fibers. This article will discuss five remedies you can use to cure soreness and inflammation.
Muscle Soreness and Inflammation Remedies
1. Rest and Recovery
If you over-exert yourself, it’s okay to rest the next day. Even the best athletes in the world will get soreness after a challenging game. Rest gives your muscles time to heal and recover. Understanding the principle behind muscle growth, which is called hypertrophy, is essential. Hypertrophy means that the body creates new muscles in response to overuse. During intense workouts, muscle fibers get damaged. In response to this damage, the body fuses the muscle fibers, which causes them to increase in both mass and size. The result is stronger muscles resistant to damage occasioned by the same intensity workouts. This process may take a bit of time, thus raising the need to give yourself rest intervals.
2. Ice Therapy
Ice packs that you store in the freezer are very useful in alleviating soreness. Ice therapy is a popular method of numbing and relieving pain. Ice therapy constricts the blood vessels, reducing blood flow near the injury. This reduces inflammation and pain and allows the muscle to heal itself. Without the inflammation, you will not experience the pain that comes along with a sore muscle. You can perform ice therapy by dipping your body inside a cool bath. The temperature should be about 10 degrees lower than your average body temperature. For this method, you should exercise caution by moderating the time you spend inside the bath to avoid hypothermia. Another option for ice therapy would be to wrap ice cubes inside a towel and then apply the towel to the point of injury. It is essential to avoid using ice cubes directly onto the skin as this can lead to tissue damage or frostbite.
Stretching enhances blood circulation, which increases nutrition to the muscle. Stretching also loosens tight muscles and allows for better blood flow. Heavy exercises often cause the muscles to tighten, leading to small micro tears on the muscle fibers. The result of this is inflammation. Stretching can counteract this occurrence by flushing out metabolic waste from the affected area, thus speeding up the healing process. There are various forms of stretching. The static type typically involves holding a single stretch position for a stipulated period. On the other hand, dynamic stretching involves moving your joints through a range of motion, whereas foam rolling involves using a roller to massage the area.
4. Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is a form of treatment that involves the manipulation of soft tissues with fingers and hands. Varying degrees of pressure are applied to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments to stimulate blood flow and relieve pain. Massage therapists use different techniques. Some use light kneading, while others use deep pressure. A few therapists use a combination of both. Swedish massage, for instance, involves both kneading and deep strokes. Deep tissue massage is typically characterized by applying deep pressure and is particularly effective when you have chronic pain. In addition to alleviating pain and inflammation, massage therapy can relieve stress and enhance immune function.
5. Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs & Cannabidiol
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are a common remedy for muscle pain and inflammation. They work by inhibiting the production of inflammatory mediators. The most common NSAIDs are aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. These drugs are available in different forms, such as pills, injections, and ointments. Although these drugs can be a quick remedy for soreness and inflammation, it is essential to follow the recommended dosage. Always discuss the treatment options with your doctor before starting any NSAID treatment. Prolonged use is also not recommended as it can cause gastric upset and ulcers.
CBD products are known to be anti-inflammatory agents. CBD can be taken in the form of ointments, oils, tinctures, and even gummies. These products do not cause any long-term side effects. They are also quite safe for long-term use.
Soreness and muscle inflammation may be discouraging, but many ways exist to treat this. By considering the remedies listed, you can reduce soreness in the future. This way, you can enjoy more activities without worrying about your muscles giving out on you.