Sore muscles are usually observed after a day or two of a rigorous running program. The soreness is more severe after a downhill running. It is not only caused after running, it can also happen after beginning a new exercise program or after a drastic increase in the intensity of the workouts. This phenomenon is termed as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Usually, this condition lasts for 4 - 5 days. Its symptoms are muscle pain, inflammation and stiffening of the muscles, and sometimes one may get the feeling that the muscles do not have any strength. In this article, we have mainly addressed the issue of how to deal with sore muscles after running.
Though the exact reason behind this condition is not known, several research studies have been conducted, and they have come up with different opinions. One of them suggest that swelling of the muscles causes soreness of muscles. The muscle cells of our body tends to undergo concentric contraction when they are under normal stress.
However, when there is an unusual contraction of the muscles due to running and jogging or any other form of exercise, then the muscle fibers or tissues may get some microscopic tears that leads to inflammation of the muscles. These swellings exert extra pressure on the nerve endings and arteries and causes sore and stiff muscles. Other possible causes are muscle spasms, change in the osmotic pressure of the muscle, alterations in the calcium regulation of the cells, etc.
The pain and inflammation caused by this problem can be relieved to a great extent by the application of ice on the affected area. Wrap up the ice in a piece of cloth and then apply it for around 15-20 minutes. Do not apply heat on that area, as it can aggravate the inflammation. Intake of a prescribed dosage of anti-inflammatory medicines, like Ibuprofen can relieve the pain and control the damage. Massages and use of pain relieving rubs are also of great help for this purpose. Drink a lot of water to keep your body hydrated which in turn will help in flushing out the toxins from the body. Banana is rich in potassium, which in turn can make the recovery of the muscles faster.
Proper warming up before running can prevent any kind of injury. Stretching exercises are the best for this purpose. Make sure you stretch all the muscles of the body. When you are going for running, then it is not that the focus is only on the lower body, but it has some impact on the entire body. So, while running, you can get stiff sore neck pain as well. After running, it is essential to cool down your body with the help of similar kind of stretching exercises. The duration of cooling down stretches should be longer. This will prevent tightening and help to maintain their flexibility. Post exercise you should eat those foods that are rich in potassium and vitamin A and B to keep soreness in check.
Do not get discouraged by sore muscles after running and stop your exercise program. It is a natural process of the body to condition itself into the required shape. Once you recover from the soreness, you will find that your body has strengthened and you are able to run with a better speed. Just make sure in the beginning go slow and do not push yourself too hard.
Disclaimer: This FitnessVigil article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.