Sore Muscles

Photo Credit: Public Domain
When you begin an exercise program, or change your regular routine by adding new or more strenuous exercise, you may experience some muscle soreness. Muscle soreness occurs when muscles are exerted more than usual, which causes tiny tears in the muscle tissue. The muscle tissue that is torn becomes inflamed and sore. Mild muscle soreness is not unusual. Muscle tissue will normally heal quickly and soreness should go away in a couple of days.You can avoid some muscle soreness by stretching before trying a new exercise. Stretch the muscles that a new exercise will target for about 10 to 15 minutes before beginning the exercise. After exercise, take a few minutes to cool down by stretching again  for 10 to 15 minutes. See a doctor if soreness is accompanied by swelling or discoloration.
Treat sore muscles by alternating ice and heat therapy directly on the affected. Begin with an ice compress directly on the sore area to reduce inflammation. Follow-up with heat to increase the blood flow to the tissues. Increased blood flow brings more nutrients and oxygen to the cells and speeds up removal of cellular waste products that cause pain. Soreness that interferes with your normal activities can be treated with over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory pain medications, such as ibuprofen, naproxen or an aspirin. Acetaminophen will relieve pain as well. Do not exceed the maximum recommended dosage for these medications, and do not take them for more than one or two days. Check with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter pain reliever if you have any medical conditions.
Increase your daily intake of vitamin C and protein to help prepare your muscles for strenuous exercise. Extra protein after a workout will nourish your muscles and aid in more rapid repair of tiny tears that cause soreness. Take it easy for a few days while your muscles are sore, but don’t stop exercising. Concentrate your activity on other muscle groups while your sore muscles repair. If your arms are sore from lifting, focus on exercising your legs or back muscles. The affected muscles will be stronger and less prone to soreness from the same level of exertion once your muscles repair and the soreness subsides. 

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