Muscle aches and pain are a common occurrence in people of all ages, including children. Whether it is a viral infection, stress, nutritional deficiency, dehydration, muscle overuse, inappropriate posture, or trauma, muscle pain can arise due to different reasons. Surprisingly, muscle pain can still affect you when you don’t use your muscles enough.
Muscle pain is inevitable.
But on a positive note, eight proven ways can help you get rid of muscle pain. Let’s take a look.
Rest is the best solution to relax your stressed muscles.
Most people experience acute pain due to certain activities like a high-intensity workout, heavy weight lifting, or during a sports event. In that case, immediately discontinue the activity and avoid using the same muscle group. It is a good idea to wait for 48 hours before you work out with the same muscle group again.
While rest is essential, it is often not sufficient alone, and you will need to use several other methods to get rid of aching muscles.
#2 Cold Packs
Cold packs are a tried and tested tool for reducing pain and swelling. It reduces swelling in the muscles, which eventually aids in subsiding pain. For best results, you need to use an ice pack wrapped in a light towel for 15-20 minutes on your aching muscles every 2-3 hours. Ice packs are an excellent way of managing muscle pain, especially during the first 24 hours of the injury. In case you don’t have an ice pack, try a bag of your favorite frozen vegetable, and it would work just fine.
#3 Warm Bath
Warmth reduces muscle tension and improves blood circulation. So warm compresses are also a proven way to get rid of muscle pain. In case a larger or several muscle groups are involved, a warm shower or a good soak in a tub can be very relaxing.
Another great way to get rid of aching muscles is massage. It improves blood circulation and reduces spasms and muscle tension. A good massage also helps reduce stress, which is another major cause of muscle pain. Moreover, it improves the recovery of soft tissue injuries.
Massage can surely help you eliminate aching muscles, but it is most effective when done by a professional.
Almost all fitness enthusiasts are aware of the importance of a good warm-up. It improves blood circulation in your muscles and prepares them for some intense movement and activity. But when you do not give enough time to warm up, aching muscles in an inevitable outcome.
Warm-up is not only effective in reducing muscle pain after exercise, but it can also improve your overall performance. A warmed muscle stretches better and relaxes more quickly. A light jog, rope skipping, and cycling can be great warm-up exercises that can help you eliminate post-workout aching muscles.
Indeed warm-up is essential. But most people forget to relax their body after a workout. As a result, aching muscles are the only outcome. To prevent post-workout muscle pain and fatigue, it is best to stretch your muscles for a good 10 minutes after a workout. It is best to stretch all major muscle groups in your body, including your arms, legs, core, and back. And when you give your body a decent opportunity to cool down, it won’t trouble you with aching muscles.
#7 Incorporate Physical Activity in Your Routine
Muscle inactivity is a major cause of muscle pain. It does not mean you are physically inactive, but it refers to a state where the major muscle groups in your body do not get the movement they require to stay healthy. As a result, your muscles grow weak, and you experience muscle pain.
It is best to incorporate physical activity into your routine to eliminate muscle pain due to inadequate activity. After consulting with your primary healthcare provider, go for a moderate workout on most days of the week. You may not always need to go to a gym or work with a trainer, but simple activities like walking and cycling can be a great addition to your routine. With these physical activities, you can enjoy overall fitness and better health, and the best part is you get rid of your aching muscles.
But remember to start slow and gradually increase intensity.
#8 Stay Hydrated
Water is life, but with a busy schedule and hustle-bustle of daily life, most people often delay drinking water until they feel thirsty. Know that by the time you are thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. So drink a lot of fluid and keep your body hydrated. It may not help you get rid of pain directly, but it speeds up the recovery process. Moreover, when your body is hydrated, it also aids in reducing the feeling of muscle soreness.
#9 Over-the-Counter Pain Medications
For muscle pain that can be managed at home, OTC pain medications can be particularly beneficial. While simple analgesics may work for some, others go for NSAIDs like ibuprofen. You can always find several OTC creams and gels that can help you get rid of aching muscles.
You May Need to See a Doctor
Most aches and muscle pains may subside when you incorporate one or more methods highlighted above in your daily schedule. However, often, aching muscles may be an indication of an underlying condition such as Vitamin D deficiency.
It is best to see a doctor if
- Muscle pain is a persistent and frequent occurrence,
- Muscle pain is accompanied by fever, swelling, redness or a rash, or
- You are using some other medication that may lead to muscle pain.
- You are experiencing extreme muscle weakness and
- You are unable to move the affected area of your body.
While most muscle pains and aches are benign, you must see a doctor if it is a persistent concern.