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What Causes Sore Muscles & What to do for it?

What Causes Sore Muscles?

Sore Muscles is the one of the most common problems that one has to face immediately or even after a few days of intense workout, or working out after a period of time, lifting heavy items, or intense running on the track.1 This is believed to be mostly due accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles. Lactic acid is a natural byproduct of normal metabolism that takes place in our body during workouts.

Lactic acid is known to be an irritant for muscles and causes Sore Muscles.2 The onset of muscle soreness after workouts is usually delayed and its onset is about a couple of days after the exercise. Hence, it is called as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. This makes it difficult for us to walk and perform other activities of daily living for a few days.

Lactic acid is not the only element that is responsible for Sore Muscles as all the lactic acid that is built up in the body after workout is eliminated from the body in a few hours after the workout so this does not explain the onset of Sore Muscles after a couple of days of rigorous exercise. The answer to this question is the inflammation and swelling that is caused in the muscle compartments after workouts with resultant inflow of white blood cells and other natural antiinflammatories that are present in the body which rush to the injured muscle to repair it. This swelling and inflammation stays in for a few days after a workout resulting in Sore Muscles.

What Causes Sore Muscles?

What to do for Sore Muscles?

The question now arises as to what to do with Sore Muscles. The answer to this is that treatment of Sore Muscles can be done in two ways, one is immediately after a workout and one is the very next day after a workout so as to treat Sore Muscles and get back to normal activities at the soonest possible time.

Treatment for Sore Muscles Immediately After Workout

Immediately after workout if you have an immediate urge to jump to the nearest easy chair or recliner then you need to stop the urge and jump immediately into an ice bath for about 10 minutes. This will calm down the inflammation and ease your sore muscles immediately.

This is a much better way of resting than in a recliner or practically doing nothing. After an ice bath, some time in the evening you can apply heat to the sore muscles to further calm down the inflammation and swelling in the muscles and treat Muscle Soreness.

Post-exercise, try and eat pineapple or cherries. They have abundant antiinflammatory properties and are quite useful in treating Sore Muscles.

Treatment for Sore Muscle A Day After Workout

The best way to treat Sore Muscles the next day after workout the previous day is to use the affected muscles. Try and use the affected muscles in such a way so as not to strain it and make matters worse but use it for gentle tasks. This is quite a useful way to treat Sore Muscles.

You can also resort to application of ice wrapped in a towel and use it over the affected muscles for 15-20 minutes two to three times a day to calm down the inflammation and swelling and treat Sore Muscles.

Massaging the affected area is also quite an effective treatment to treat Sore Muscles. You can do gentle massaging of the affected area to calm down the inflammation and swelling and treat Sore Muscles.


Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 9, 2019

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