The day after a workout can be a real pain. From sore, tight muscles to an aching Achilles, Doylestown Health's Sports Medicine experts share the following tips to help prevent and relieve post workout discomfort.
Preventing Post-Workout Blues
The old saying "an ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure" still holds true, so always keep the basics of injury prevention in mind.
- Warm up before your workout, stretch after and know your limits.
- Check with your doctor before starting a workout program.
- Proper footwear is key, especially for runners. Many athletic shoe stores offer guidance to help you choose the best fit for you.
- Stay hydrated by drinking water before, during and after your workout.
- Purchase and wear the right protective gear.
- Use proper form.
- Mix it up to avoid muscle wear and tear. Changing your routine can give your body a chance to develop in other areas. For example, trade a run for a bike ride or work on alternate muscle groups.
Relieve Post-Workout Pains
A short soak in a tub of cold water – about 10 minutes right after your workout – can reduce inflammation, keeping muscle aches at bay.
Taking a day or more off from working out can give your body a chance to recover.
Foam rollers can loosen muscles before a workout and can help reduce pain after. For example, if your Achilles tendon (where your calf muscle meets your heel) feels tight or achy, running the lower part of the calf muscle over a foam roller can relieve stress and discomfort.
Applying heat a few hours after a workout encourages blood flow and relaxes muscle tension.
Ice packs can help reduce inflammation that leads to muscle pain. Try 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, throughout the day.
When muscles feel tight, try a light workout such as a walk, jog or bike ride to loosen things up.
A compression bandage can reduce inflammation that leads to muscle aches.
Get it checked out
Seek medical attention if aching area feels warm, which can be a sign of infection, or if your muscle pain is accompanied by a fever or rash.
Find a Sports Medicine Specialist
About Clark Outpatient Rehabilitation Center
The Clark Outpatient Rehabilitation Center offers physical, occupational, and speech therapies as well as hand therapy, lymphedema therapy, and pelvic floor rehabilitation, and programming for neurological impairments with ample space. Its location within steps of Doylestown Hospital—and convenient parking—on the health system’s flagship campus is in careful consideration of facilitating patient access to these popular and critical services.