While working out, we often tend to overdo without realizing it, which inevitably leads to muscle soreness in various parts of the body, including the legs. If you neglect the problem and think it will go away on its own, rest assured you are really mistaken. Sore muscles need to be dealt with ASAP!
Types of soreness you might experience
Ever have a great workout only to feel sore the next day? Or perhaps you are in the middle of a workout and are noticing pain or burning in leg muscles? Unexplained aches in your back and neck or legs, can be signs that you have overstressed your joints or exercised in poor form, causing your body to overcompensate and recruit other muscles to help do the work.
The term “no pain no gain” in this case indicates the burn you feel in your muscles when you really push into and past fatigue. When our muscles use energy, they release hydrogen ions or protons. When doing heavy or prolonged exercise, the protons in your muscles actually accumulate faster than your body can release them, making your muscles burn. This burn is a sign that you’ve reached muscular fatigue which is a necessity if you hope to build stronger muscles.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
It is called DOMS for short and this is the soreness you are probably most familiar with. This type of muscle soreness begins 24 to 48 hours after your workout and actually indicates a natural adaptive process that the body uses after an intense exercise session. When you do a new or particularly challenging workout, your muscle fibers tear on a microscopic level. It takes time for your body to repair that muscle, which is why you may feel this type of lingering soreness for up to 72 hours after that hard workout. Sometimes, you may even feel sorer on the second or third day after your tough workout than you did on the first.
If you are sore for more than 72 hours, it probably means that you really pushed yourself, did a completely new activity, or haven’t exercised in a long time. This muscular soreness feels much like DOMS, just more severe, and indicates that your body needs additional time to repair those muscles.
Muscle cramps are basically sudden, involuntary contractions or spasms. They commonly occur after exercise or at night and can last from a few seconds to several minutes. Muscle cramps can be caused by nerves that malfunction due to a health problem such as a spinal cord injury or a pinched nerve in the neck or back.
How can you treat soreness?
Baths & Epsom Salts
Warm water will loosen up tight muscles and improve circulation. Better circulation means more oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood coming to the rescue of your aching muscles. Magnesium, the primary component of epsom salts, is essential for healthy muscles and is a gentle natural muscle relaxant. The salts, when added to a warm bath or compress, are absorbed by the skin and are actually more effective this way than by taking an oral magnesium supplement.
Apply an ice pack for 15 minutes, followed by a heat pack for another 15, and back again. Studies have shown alternating cold with hot to be highly effective in promoting both circulation and muscle recuperation.
Similar to massage, foam rollers increase blood flow to your muscles through applied pressure. And since you decide which muscles you work, you can make sure to focus on the areas that need the most care.
Tart Cherry Juice
Yes it works! Tart cherry juice has rapidly become one of the hottest super foods, due to its high level of antioxidants and other benefits—one of which is decreased muscle soreness. Try adding a splash to your post-workout smoothie.
Before relaxing in your recliner, stretch your muscles before they stiffen, helping them to become more pliable and flexible. As oxygen flows into your muscles, you’ll speed their recovery. Whether you choose yoga, Pilates or stretches of your own, you’re relieving muscle soreness.
Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your workout will help keep your muscles feeling their best.
Even though you might want to flop onto the coach, cold drink in hand, first move a little more. Slowly and gently is fine. Get the blood flowing into those sore muscles by simply walking around the house or around your neighborhood, or raising your arms over your head while breathing deeply.
Treat soreness in legs without further delay or it can seriously hamper your performance. Try the remedies mentioned above – we guarantee you won’t be disappointed. If you wish, a doctor can be consulted before you implement these methods.
7 ways to relieve sore muscles after exercise