If you’re like most people, your muscles are pretty sore after a good workout at the gym. You may be so painful that it’s hard to move around comfortably.
This is perfectly normal and usually goes away after a few days. While rest and ice may help alleviate some of the discomforts, if the soreness persists or becomes more intense, it might be time to see an osteopath.
Osteopaths use various techniques to help relieve muscle tension and soreness. If you’re interested in finding out more, keep reading!
What is muscle soreness?
Muscle soreness results from the strain placed on muscles while you exercise. It’s a condition known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), and it’s entirely normal. DOMS typically occurs 6-8 hours after beginning a new activity or changing activities and can linger up to 24-48 hours following the workout.
Muscle soreness is a common complaint among athletes, particularly those involved in high-intensity exercise.
Muscle soreness results from an inflammatory response within the muscle cells. The inflammation results from stress placed on your muscles during exercise, which causes the muscle fibres to break down. As the muscle fibres mend, they grow bigger and stronger than before. This implies that your muscles will be more equipped to withstand the tension the next time you work out.
Common causes of muscle soreness
- Getting back to the gym after a long time, beginning an exercise or training regimen.
- Including a new activity or exercise in your fitness routine.
- Increasing the intensity of an already-included activity in your program, lifting heavier weights, increasing repetitions, or increasing speed.
- Repeating the same activity without taking a proper rest interval.
What reduces post-exercise muscle soreness and stiffness?
Apply an ice pack
If the injury is severe, or if the muscle or joint area is swollen and warm, wrap an ice pack in a thin towel and apply it on the aching muscles for about 15 minutes. If there is no swelling and the muscles are only sore from the workout, use a heat pack for 15 minutes to increase blood circulation.
Get a massage
A trigger-point or sports massage can help to relax highly tight, stiff muscles and ease muscle aches.
Stretch your muscles for around 10-20 minutes after a strenuous activity to avoid muscular soreness. Don’t forget to warm up the body before exercising with arm swings and on-the-spot marches, or start slowly and increase the pace gradually.
Don’t quit exercising entirely. The fact that you have muscle soreness after an exercise indicates that your muscles have been strained and will gradually become stronger. You can speed up the clearance of lactic acid buildup by activating your muscles (with light activity).
Gradually increase the number of eccentric exercises
Muscle aches are more probable if your muscles are operating eccentrically. An eccentric contraction is when your muscles contract under tension, as seen in the “down motion” of a bicep curl.” Eccentric training can also include walking downhill. Gradually increase the intensity.
Take a hot bath
A warm bath may help to relax stiff muscles and increase blood circulation, providing temporary relief.
Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release technique that relieves tension, tightness, and muscular pain safely and effectively.
When to consult an osteopath
If the muscular aches do not subside after a few days of rest, or if they worsen, this could indicate that you have suffered a significant muscle injury.
Consult one of our osteopaths if your muscle soreness is accompanied by:
- Difficulty moving the joint or limb
- Muscle weakness
- Extreme stiffness that doesn’t seem to be improving
- Intense, excruciating pain
Does osteopathy help tight muscles?
Osteopathy can help by manipulating your muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. This causes stiff muscles and tendons to relax, circulation to improve, and locked joints to be released.
One of our osteopaths will work with you to identify muscle imbalances. You will be given exercises to counter any muscle imbalances and loosen tight muscles.
Severe muscle soreness during exercise could indicate that you have a muscle strain or injury.
Osteopathy is a natural form of medicine that uses gentle massage and manipulation techniques to restore balance and function to the body.
An osteopath can help relieve muscle tension, soreness and pain from overuse injuries.
If you are experiencing chronic muscle soreness after your workouts, please don’t suffer in silence. Try an osteopathic treatment; your body will thank you!
At Equilibrium Sports and Spinal Clinic, we are committed to helping you find lasting pain relief, so book an appointment with one of our osteopaths today.