It's not uncommon to suffer an injury or strain a muscle during exercise, especially if you are just starting out on a new exercise regime. It's important that you take your injury as a sign not to push yourself as far again in the near future. While you are likely to recover, if you continue to injure the same muscle over and over, you could leave yourself with long term damage. When you are feeling sore, take it easy and let your muscles recover. Here are some tips and tricks to help you soothe your muscles as you recover.
Try an ice massage
If the injury is less than 48 hours old, regular 20-minute ice massages can be beneficial to muscle soreness. The ice can reduce muscle inflammation and numb the nerve endings, so pain is reduced. It should be rubbed into the muscle in the same direction as the muscle runs so you can relieve tension as you massage.
Ibuprofen is a more widely known medication. It is an anti-inflammatory medication that also relieves pain. However, it is important to stick to the instructions on the packaging.
Massage with essential oils
There are several different essential oils that can help when massaged into the muscles. The oils can help to maximize blood flow. When mixed in with massage oil and rubbed into the tissue, it will remove toxins and relieve pain. Popular oils include rosemary, eucalyptus, lavender, calendula, St. John’s Wort or ginger.
Use a heat pad
Once 48 hours have passed since your workout, you may want to try applying a heat pad to the injured area. Applying heat to a muscle injury encourages blood back to the area which aids in repair and recovery as it removes toxins, but heat should only be applied for 20 minutes at a time.
Use a topical cream
In some cases applying a topical cream to the injured muscle can help. There are several types of cream that can reduce muscle soreness. You can either get an over the counter product, a prescription from your doctor or you may want to consider using CBD cream. CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the chemicals found in cannabis but it does not have the psychoactive effects associated with the plant (these are caused by a different chemical known as THC). CBD delivers pain-relieving qualities and reduces inflammation.
Stretch or take some gentle exercise
While you probably want to steer clear of more of the same exercise which injured you, it may help do some gentle stretching exercises to relieve tension and lactic acid. You could also try some gentle exercise which doesn’t strain your aching muscles too much.
Have a warm Epsom salt bath
The best type of bath to have is a 20-30-minute soak in a jetted hot tub or whirlpool, but if (like most people) you don’t have access to one of these, have a hot bath with Epsom salts dissolved in there. Epsom salt helps to reduce inflammation, cramps, and swelling.
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