DOMS? Sore Muscle Make Over!

Sore Muscle Remedy for DOMS Days!

Has this happened to you?

You stumble out of bed in the morning, only to wince in pain as your muscles scream in protest. “What happened to my legs, you ask a foggy brain?!” Then you remember your great workout yesterday. You throw one leg in front of the other, trying to remember how your legs normally work, as you become re-acquainted with that hinge called a knee.

Then there’s the porcelain throne. So you did squats at the gym, but now that shiny seat looks so far down and your legs seem to have lost all memory of how to move into a squat position, and you end up plopping into place as your muscles give out.

This post workout soreness is also known as DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

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It seems strange, but building strength is the process of tearing down muscle fibers, but this is how you build muscle. They get torn down, and the body then rallies to build them back up to be bigger and stronger, yet more lean and shapely, because muscle has definition, fat does not. The tearing act can leave your muscles feeling sore. It’s bound to occur. In fact, it’s a good sign. It means you worked out enough to make a difference. If you’re too sore for too long, then you probably overdid it. If you’re not sore, chances are you didn’t work out enough to make a difference in strengthening.

The thighs are especially susceptible to DOMS as they contain large muscles groups, which make the pain more noticeable. The quadriceps, hamstrings, abductors and adductors are all found in this area of the body. When you’ve worked then well, you legs can tell!

 

Livestrong.com suggests 5 steps to get rid of soreness in the thighs:

shutterstock_129181913 (1)Step 1

Apply an ice pack to areas where you experience soreness. To help the ice pack stay on the thigh, place the covered ice pack on the sore area and wrap an athletic bandage around the thigh and ice pack to help it stay in place. Alternate keeping the ice pack on and off in 10- to 15-minute intervals for a period of two to three hours.

 

 

Step 2

Massage the affected area. Sports massage techniques for the thigh include pushing your hands from the knee up the thigh toward your hips to relieve muscle tension. Transition to placing a hand on either side of your thigh and using rotating motions. Next, use circular motions with your hands to target any areas of pain. If you feel knots in your muscles, place a thumb on that area and knead gently until you feel the knot go away.

shutterstock_264796967Best Fit Life TIP: We like using foam rollers for sore muscles. Massages are awesome if you can get one when you need it, but your masseur or masseuse may not be available when you need them, so a ready go-to for all kinds of muscle relief and just overall tension release is a foam roller.

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shutterstock_167857982Step 3

Elevate your leg by placing pillows underneath your heel. This helps to relieve inflammation by sending blood flow away from the thigh to reduce swelling.

 

Step 4

Take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, which can reduce swelling and minimize pain. Take these as directed until pain subsides.

 

Step 5

Refrain from exercising until your muscle soreness subsides. Exercising on extremely sore muscles can contribute to increased risk for muscle tear and strain. You can, however, engage in light stretching for the thigh, such as pulling the foot toward your buttocks and crossing one leg over another knee and leaning forward to stretch the thigh.

Best Fit Life TIP: Even though it can hurt at first, it’s very helpful to walk and move around as much as possible.

Movement gets your circulation moving which helps flush out the inflammation and serves to keep your limbs more limber and mobile. Often, as soon as we feel the pain we assume we shouldn’t walk or use it at all, but typically, walking is very beneficial. Once you get going, you’ll notice the soreness diminish and the stiffness recede. It will come back again one you’re stationary again for awhile, but, get walking and it will limber up again.

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Drive Away Soreness!

These five steps will help to alleviate sore muscles if they’re the regular sore-muscle-kind. However, in some instances, muscle soreness can indicate you have experienced a thigh muscle strain. Look at your thigh closely for signs of injury, such as bruising, swelling or tenderness to the touch. If you identify these areas, rest your muscles and use at-home techniques to reduce pain. If the pain does not resolve itself, see a physician.

In the recent past (and still), the best remedy—especially for athletes—was thought to be ice baths. For the average exerciser, cold packs. We still think cold packs are helpful because they reduce swelling from inflammation, which reduces pain. However, the body in its wisdom creates inflammation for a reason, namely sending extra blood flow to that area for greater healing to occur. The body’s troops have been sent to do battle, in much the way fevers work. So we use them to help with immediate pain and mobility, as needed, however we also alternate with hot packs.

For more on this topic, this article as Men’s Fitness is very helpful.

 

RESOURCES

How to Get Rid of Soreness in My Thighs, livestrong.com