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5 Ways of Treating Muscle Soreness


Sometimes when I do intense sessions of grappling, throwing or breakfalls, I’ll wake up the next day or two days later with sore, aching muscles due to the strain of the training. Here are a few treatments for muscle soreness that can help.

1. Gentle exercise. Medical research suggests that you shouldn’t completely avoid exercise when dealing with muscle soreness. It’s quite the opposite. You should instead do light exercise that keeps the affected muscle(s) in motion. Blood circulation helps clear up the lactic acid build up that causes muscle soreness.

2. Ibuprofen (aka – Advil). While Ibuprofen doesn’t speed up muscle recovery, medical studies suggest that it does decrease the pain in the meantime.

3. Baths. A hot bath won’t cure muscle soreness, but it does help to take the edge off. I find it helps to throw in a cup of Epsom salts, which is said to help reduce muscle stiffness. According to a student of mine who is a doctor and avid fitness enthusiast, cold baths are a great way of preventing the soreness before it sets in. She says that if you can stand to immerse yourself in ice cold water for 5 minutes soon after you do an intense work-out it can do wonders for muscle soreness prevention. I’ve used cold water immersion for treating joint injuries, but I just can’t bring myself to fully immerse my body in ice water.

4. Stretching/ Yoga. They say that stretching doesn’t really do anything for reducing muscle soreness, but many people find that it helps make them feel better. There are some studies that the regular practice of yoga does help prevent muscle soreness. I find that yoga helps me, but only when I do it regularly.

5. Proper warm-ups. Medical studies suggest that properly warming up helps reduce post work-out muscle soreness. Experts suggest that you should do 3-5 minutes of exercise that gets your heart beating faster, like skipping, running, or gentle shadowboxing. This can take longer though if you’re training in a cold environment. Once you’re warm, it’s also a good idea to do some dynamic stretching, using movements that are similar the ones you’ll be doing in your work-out. These kinds of stretches should be done with steady, controlled movements, not explosive ones, which can injure muscles.

Comments (3)

3 thoughts on “5 Ways of Treating Muscle Soreness

  1. I like reading your blog. Very useful info.

    As I get into my 30’s my warm ups and cool downs take on a whole new importance.

    Ibuprofen is my friend. Oh and I have instant ice-packs in my gi bag and a bag of frozen peas in my freezer should I tweak something.

    And you’re right, the time where I get most injured is when I ramp up training, where I take a bit of a break and start back up again.

    Other than that I do miss that muscle soreness feeling as I know I didn’t train hard enough if I don’t have that “just a bit sore feeling.”

  2. Thank you for your positive comments. Reminds me why I started this blog in the first place. 🙂

    When I reached my 30s, the same thing happened to me. Injuries seemed to happen more easily and recovery times seemed to get longer.

    I try to live a healthier lifestyle to combat the ravages of age. I eat healthier, try to get a good sleep regularly, and I drink less alcohol and caffeine. I’m still very active too. I intend to keep training well into old age if I can manage it.

  3. Ohh man, cold showers are my mortal enemy. I definitely couldn’t commit to the ice bath approach.

    I’ll do as much of the other 4 as possible, haha.

    Useful post, well done!

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