Today I’d like to share my insights of how to get rid of sore muscles quickly. In my past I spent a lot of time doing a lot of demanding physical activity such as running cross country, running track, and rock climbing in the more recent years. However, now I spend a lot of time at a desk for work which causes completely different problems, but it all has to do with sore muscles and tightness.
Here is a video on how to get rid of sore muscles, but you can also follow along in the post as well as some people prefer reading to watching videos!
How to Get Rid of Sore Muscles
1. Find the root of the problem
First and foremost, you will want to find the root of the problem. Sore muscles and tightness are often a symptom and not the problem. Some muscle soreness and tightness is not bad, but others can be. As an example, do you sit at a desk all day? Is your posture good? Are you sitting for too many hours? Think about what you can do to not have tension in the first place. Maybe you can get a new chair, improve your posture, take more frequent walking breaks, etc. Whether or not you can find the problem, let’s make those sore and tight muscles feel better!
2. Apply heat
I love applying heat to my muscles. My favorite way is through a really warm shower or bath. Baths are nice because that allows you to fully relax and soak for a while. You can also apply localized heat through something like a heating pad. The heat allows your muscles to relax so that they are easier to work with.
3. Use a foam roller
I was introduced to foam rollers back in 2005 when I had a lot of knee problems when I was running. Foam rollers help muscles to a speedy recovery. They are similar to a massage but it’s something you can do yourself. There are a lot of techniques to foam rolling, and it is possible to do it incorrectly (I hear you shouldn’t do it on your lower back but I’m not sure if that’s true or just a myth), so before you use it on a particular muscle group you might want to do a quick search on the internet on how to target that muscle group best. Foam rollers come in various lengths, but I have a fairly large one. I’ve had mine for almost 10 years now and it moves with me from house to house. When you use the foam roller, it will probably feel uncomfortable but it shouldn’t cause you bad pain. Think of using it like stretching. Stretching is not always comfortable but you shouldn’t be in pain either.
4. Use a pillow massager
I was introduced to this Shiatsu pillow massager over 8 years ago. My mom received it as a Christmas gift, I took it for a test drive, and I was sold! This pillow massager can apply a deep kneading motion to wherever you need it. I like to use it on my neck to really get out those deep tensions that cause all sorts of headaches, my back where I often have a pinched nerve from sitting too long, my lower pack, and I’ve even used it on my glutes, hamstrings, calves and feet. While you can probably get away with one or the other (foam roller or pillow massager), I like both as they have totally different techniques and between the two, one will always get the specific job done that I need.
Last but not least, don’t forget to stretch. It’s great to do static stretching after your muscles are warmed up a bit. There are many great stretches to do on a frequent basis such as back twists, gentle neck stretches, hamstring stretches, and more. Be sure not to over-stretch.
By using this routine I have learned to take care of most of my aches and pains over the past 10 years. On occasion I have had to visit a chiropractor, physical therapist or get a massage, but those have been more severe cases, especially when dealing with sports injuries. This is not a replacement for professional assistance, and just because this works for me in may not work for you. If you think you have an injury it’s probably best to visit a doctor.
I hope you find some of these tips useful, and happy stretching and self-papering!