Muscle soreness is a normal reaction to exercise or physical activity in which muscle soreness develops within 12- 48 hours after a strenuous activity. The soreness is believed to be a result of micro tears in the muscle fibers and associated swelling response. This response is a part of the adaptation process, which allows the muscle to have more stamina and strength as it re-builds from the exercise load placed upon it.
It is important to realize that muscle soreness does not mean that there is a muscle injury! Soreness typically disappears within 48-72 hours and is much less intense the more frequent the exercise routine is performed.
Symptoms have been shown to be less intense in some individuals that follow this advice:
Warm Up: Start with a few stretches targeting the area of the body you will be working. For example: Playing Tennis? Stretch legs, back and arms. Going Biking? Stretch legs and lower back. Also do some “dynamic stretches” which mimic the movements you’re about to do. For example: If you are going jogging, start by walking briskly for a few minutes.
Cool Down: Slow down the activity you are doing for the last few minutes. Don’t just sit or lie down but continue to move by walking around a little. Don’t forget to stretch! Stretching will help loosen up the muscles you just worked out, and help you get ready for your next workout.
Ice Exercising naturally causes an inflammation response. Ice will decrease the temperature in the area and help decrease the inflammation. Icing 10-20 minutes is plenty, and it can be done as needed throughout the day.
Massage A massage therapist can help work the toxins out of the sore muscles and help them to relax. A DIY is a tennis ball between the wall and your sore muscles. You can apply as much pressure as you’d like to work out the soreness. Should not put so much pressure as to increase pain but relieves tension.
Don’t Stop Moving! If the pain isn’t too bad do some light exercise, you can work the same muscles just use lighter weights, less reps, or less intensity. Sitting or lying down for too long will just cause the sore muscles to stiffen up even more.