Muscle pain occurs when some damages have been done to the muscles in the leg or any other affected area. The damage could be a sprain or strain. If the pain is not quickly addressed, it can get so bad that walking with the leg becomes a challenge. If you experience muscle pain, here are some ways to take care of it.
Study What Caused The Muscle Pain
One of the major causes of muscle pain is intense exercise. Intense workouts involving some notorious movement can stretch the leg muscles in such a way that it leads to sprains. If you are suffering from muscle pain caused by exercise, it is advisable to reduce the intensity and duration of the exercise so as not to intensify the muscle pain. If you spend an hour on it before, reduce it to 20 minutes.
Also, muscle pain caused by intense workouts is triggered by damages to the muscle tissue. When such damage occurs, the body tends to initiate the repair process by triggering inflammation at the affected side. In the explanation provided by the American College Of Sports Medicine, Shawn Arent, Ph.D., CSCS, Professor, And Chair Of The Department Of Exercise explains that fluid accumulates in the muscle, putting extra pressure on the damaged areas, leading to the familiar sensation of tightness and pain that typically begins to develop 12 to 24 hours after your workout.
Therefore when you experience muscle pain after an intense workout, give your body sometimes to take care of itself and avoid overstressing the muscle so as not to aggravate the situation.
One of the best ways to treat muscle pain is hydration. Water is important for the treatment of muscle pain because it helps to keep fluid moving throughout the body and also helps to relieve inflammation. Water also helps to flush out body waste products and provide the body with the necessary nutrients needed for the adequate functioning of the body muscles. This is why it is advisable that when you want to exercise, take a glass of water before you start and take another after the exercise. If possible take water intermittently during the workout.
Using a Foam Roller
Foam roller refers to self-myofascial release (SMR) – a technique used to release tension in the muscle and connective tissues. There are different kinds of foam rollers. Some of them include lacrosse ball and massage sticks. The use of any of these helps to reduce and relieve tension in the muscle.
In a review published in the International Journal Of Sports Physical Therapy in November 2015, the result shows that foam roller can help to increase range of motion and reduce DOMS. Foam rolling as well as other types of exercise can help to increase blood circulation in the body and also help the circulation of the right proportion of energy and heat to the affected legs.
However, if you are new to using foam rollers, it is important to start with a softer version of it. While foam rollers help to relieve the muscle and increase blood and fluid circulation in the body and muscle, if you are not accustomed to it, it can further aggravate the muscle pain. Hence, start with a softer foam roller instead of hard ones.
Eat within a half-hour after exercising.
When you are done with an intense workout, feed your muscle with the right proportion of nutrients needed for its effectiveness. Eat within half an hour after exercise and ensure you eat a balanced diet.
Whether or not your muscle pain is caused by an intense workout, your diet can be a medicine if taken the right way. Your diet should include foods that supply the body with pain and anti-inflammation properties like fishes, walnut, spinach, berry fruits, and spices such as ginger and turmeric. Some of these foods help to block the works of the enzymes that trigger pains in the body muscles.
In addition to this Dr. Arent suggested that, for muscle pain patients, it is advisable to eat food with 20-40% of energy and 20 to 40 % of carbohydrate. This is because protein helps to build muscle tissues and carbohydrates are needed to replenish the lost energy in the body.
One of the best ways to treat muscle pull is to have a good sleep. Except in severe situations, when the muscle tissue derives the necessary nutrients from your food, a night of good sleep will help the tissues take care of the pain. Non-rapid eye movement sleep is said to help improve body protein synthesis which is one of the major factor nutrients needed for building your sore muscles.
Use the RICE Method
RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
- Rest is very essential for the relief of muscle pain. However, do not over rest the legs to avoid stiffness. The fact that sore muscles need to rest does not mean that you should relax your legs on the couch and refuse to engage it in anything. This might end up aggravating the situation. Engage your legs in minor activities like walking around the house, swim, restorative yoga, and so on. If you are too sore to walk around, use a cane or crunches that can help to keep your weight off your legs.
- Ice: apply ice to the leg by wrapping an ice bag around it 10 to 15 minutes. Do this continuously for the next two to three days and if possible after 3 or 4 hours. Wrapping ice on the leg helps to relieve the pain and tension on the leg muscle.
- Compression: Compression also helps to reduce pain and inflammation in the muscle. Apply tension to the affected leg by wrapping it with an ACE bandage or elastic.
- Elevate your muscle by raising it a little bit higher than your heart and keeping it in this position while you sleep or rest on the couch. Resting your legs make it easy for blood and fluid to flow into the affected area. Elevation also helps to avoid swelling and pain.