Having sore muscles is a problem many people experience every single day for a variety of reasons, ranging from intense exercise to medical conditions. It’s especially annoying if it’s a chronic pain problem that occurs on a frequent basis.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on treatments. Sore muscle pain management can be achieved with inexpensive solutions, including heat and cold therapy.
There are also simple strategies you can implement to help PREVENT muscle pain. Here are a few ideas:
- Dehydration can be a cause of muscle soreness. If you are working out a lot, or have a physically demanding job, make sure you stay hydrated. Try to carry water with you everywhere you go, if you can. If it’s not possible, make sure you drink plenty of water before doing any physical activity. When you are finished, drink even more water to rehydrate yourself.
- Make sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet. It’s recommended that you have smaller doses of protein on a frequent basis rather than one large dose. If you are working out a lot, aim for about 20 grams for every two or three hours. Whey and white-meat poultry are excellent sources of protein.
- Are you getting Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet? Eating more Omega-3 foods might not reduce your muscle pain overnight, but it may in time if you stick with it. Fish is perhaps the best source. You can find these fatty acids in everything from salmon to tuna. They are also found in fresh produce such as Brussels sprouts and parsley.
- Bathing with Epsom salt is a good treatment for some people suffering from sore muscles. Pour a couple of cups of Epsom salt into tub filled with lukewarm water. Sit and soak for about fifteen minutes or so, up to three times a week. This treatment is NOT recommended for individuals with health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
- Some form of heat therapy is usually ideal for fatigued muscles, although you should not leave a heating pad on for very long or keep it at a high temperature. A steady, warm temperature is better. Only use an ice compress if you are treating an actual injury. To prevent muscle soreness, use a flexible pack that is designed for mobility.
- If your muscle pain IS caused by an injury, then you really might need to use an ice pack to reduce the swelling. Heat won’t help the inflammation and swelling at all. In fact, it might make it worse. However, some experts recommend alternating between cold and heat, starting with cold. There are some reusable electric heating pads that can be frozen OR heated up, depending on your specific needs.
Before attempting any type of alternative therapy, it’s always best to talk to your doctor and/or physiotherapist first to make sure you it’s all right. Hopefully, you can find a pain management strategy that works for you so that you won’t have to worry so much about sore muscles interfering with your life!