Muscle Soreness

What it is? Symptoms, and how to treat it.

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What it is? Symptoms, and how to treat it

What is Muscle Soreness?

Muscle soreness is when your muscles are tender or aching, due to exercise routines, overuse, disuse, a build-up of lactic acid, or medication. Muscle soreness is felt by exhaustion in the muscle fibers, but it should not be confused with muscle damage. Sore muscles are something that everyone experiences, regardless of how intensely you workout, or what your job is. It is important to differentiate from muscle soreness and injury, so that you know how to properly treat it. 

How to know if you have Muscle Soreness?

You may be wondering, how do you know what it is? In comparison with an injury or a medical condition, it will feel very different. Rather than pain, it should feel more like an ache or tiredness in the muscle. Of course, if you are unsure, always contact a medical professional.

  • If you just started a new physical activity, those new muscle groups that you’re activating will most likely feel sore, as they are not used to being used.
  • If you have been regularly exercising, you may feel delayed onset muscle soreness from a build-up of lactic acid in the muscles, or chronic overuse of a specific muscle.
  • It is also possible that the opposite causes muscle soreness. If you disuse a certain group of muscles, they may begin to feel sore as they are not being activated enough.
  • If you are on medication that may have a side effect of muscle soreness, please contact your health care provider before trying to absolve it yourself. 

How to Treat It?

In order to decrease muscle pain and soreness, you have to release the inflamed and stiff muscle tissue.

A stretching routine will be anti-inflammatory, increase blood flow to the muscle group, increase range of motion in the muscles and joints, and improve overall muscle function. It is important to first look at where you are feeling muscle soreness. Discomfort often does not stem from the exact area that you are feeling it, but rather from another source. That means that having a regular routine of a full body stretch will be most beneficial to relieving muscle soreness. This will also help to prevent potential soreness in other areas, as stretching releases the muscle fibers and allows for faster recovery from activity.

A stretch professional like Kika Stretch Studios can help to release and prevent muscle soreness, as your coach will guide you through an hour-long series of fully-assisted passive stretching designed to stretch your entire body. The key factor to relieving muscle tension is consistency because it will allow you to maintain a tension free life. 

Exercises for Sore Muscles

Lying Twist

This stretch exercise is the best way to release, stretch, and relieve pain along the side of the back and spine. These muscles are most likely tight on everyone, as they are affected by everyday activities.

This is a more advanced stretch, as it can feel intense for those with tight back muscles or lack of mobility. If you deal with chronic back pain, you may need to work your way through some of the other back stretches before progressing to this one. For this stretch, you will need the space to lie down and extend your arms on a flat surface, once a day on each side. 

Step 1. Begin by lying on your back, with both legs extended straight out, and your arms out in a T for the starting position. 

Step 2. Pick your right leg up to a ninety degree angle, parallel to the ceiling and place your left hand on your right knee. 

Step 3. Slowly twist your right leg to the left side of your body, while turning your head to the right. 

Step 4. Make sure to stop when you feel a light stretch, and ease slowly into a deeper stretch.

Step 5. Allow gravity to pull your knee towards the floor, while keeping your right arm and both shoulders on the floor. 

Step 6. Hold until the spine has released and repeat on the opposite side.

Lying Twist

Running Lunge stretch demonstration

This exercise is a good deep hip and quad stretch, for those more advanced stretchers or athletes. It is a great stretch to release tension in the hips and the front of the legs, but should only be executed by those who are flexible enough to stabilize themselves in the position. You do not need any equipment for this stretch, and it can be done once a day on each side.

Step 1. Begin by sitting up on both knees with your body facing forward.

Step 2. Step your right leg out in front of you, at a 90 degree angle and your knee over your heel.

Step 3. Place both hands on either side of your leg, palms flat on the ground, and your focus looking forward. 

Step 4. Straighten your left leg off the floor, pushing your back heel towards the wall behind you. Imagine your two heels reaching away from one another, in order to stretch the front of your leg and hip.

Step 5. Hold this position as long as desired and repeat on the opposite side.