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Working out is a great way to stay healthy, but it can be tough on the body. If you’ve ever had an intense workout, you know how sore and stiff you can feel afterward. This is normal – but it doesn’t mean you must suffer unnecessarily. Below, we will discuss some ways that you can help relieve pain after a heavy workout.
1. Use Heat and Ice Therapy
One of the most effective ways to relieve pain after a workout is to alternate between heat and ice therapy. Heat can help increase blood flow to the problem area, reducing inflammation and soreness. On the other hand, ice will help reduce swelling and numb the area.
To use this method effectively, start with ice for 20 minutes, then switch to heat for 20 minutes. Repeat this cycle until you feel relief from your pain. You can also alternate between hot showers and cold baths if you don’t have access to a heating pad or ice pack.
2. Take an Anti-Inflammatory
If you’re dealing with pain and inflammation after a workout, taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can be helpful. Ibuprofen and naproxen are both effective options. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle.
If you feel skeptical about over-the-counter anti-inflammatory tablets, you can also use a pain relief spray. It is also important to be careful not to take an anti-inflammatory if you’re allergic to it or have stomach problems like ulcers. If you’re unsure whether or not it’s safe for you, talk to your doctor before taking anything.
If you’re concerned about taking medication, there are also natural anti-inflammatories that you can take, such as turmeric or ginger. These can be taken in pill form or added to your food.
3. Gentle Stretching and Massage
Stretching and massage can also help reduce pain after a workout. Gently stretching the muscles causing you pain can help reduce inflammation and improve your range of motion. Massage can also help to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation.
If you’re unsure how to stretch or massage the affected area, many videos and articles online can show you how. Or, you could visit a physiotherapist or massage therapist for guidance.
4. Get Enough Rest
Getting enough rest after a strenuous workout is important so your body can recover and repair itself. This doesn’t mean you have to spend all day in bed – but it does mean getting enough sleep at night and taking breaks during the day if you need them.
If you find that your pain prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep, try using a pillow or mattress topper specifically designed for pain relief. These can help take the pressure off sore muscles and joints so that you can sleep more comfortably.
You should also avoid working out too frequently, which can worsen the pain. Give yourself at least one day of rest between workouts and more if you still feel sore.
5. Healthy Eating
Eating healthy foods can also help reduce pain after a workout. Foods high in antioxidants, omega-three fatty acids, and vitamins A, C, and E can help reduce inflammation. Some examples of these anti-inflammatory foods include salmon, blueberries, kale, broccoli, and tomatoes.
In addition to eating these anti-inflammatory foods, you should also make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration can worsen the pain, so it’s important to drink enough fluids – especially if you’re sweating a lot during your workouts.
You could also take supplements if you’re struggling to get enough of these anti-inflammatory foods into your diet. Just be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, as some can interact with medications you may be taking.
6. See a Doctor
You must see a doctor if you’re still in pain after trying the above methods. While most workout-related pain is not serious, some injuries require medical attention. A doctor may be able to recommend other treatments or investigate whether there’s an underlying condition causing your pain. They can also refer you to a physiotherapist or other specialist if necessary.
There’s no need to suffer through pain after a workout. Using the above methods can reduce inflammation and help your body recover more quickly. However, if the pain persists or gets worse, be sure to see a doctor so that they can rule out any serious injuries or conditions.