Muscle Soreness: Causes, 8 Recovery Strategies, and More

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sportsman having knee injury problem due to muscle soreness
Sports injuries and health concept.

Doing an intense workout or involving in physical activities, going out of your comfort zone that can be challenging for your body and muscles can cause muscle soreness.

This ache, also known as delayed onset muscle soreness(DOMS), The pain can be mild or severe and become intolerable in 72 hrs.

In today’s article, we will explore some of the leading causes of muscle soreness and provide some tips to get rid of it.

Understanding Muscle Soreness:

Muscle soreness happens when we engage in a workout or physical activity that we don’t do regularly and our body is not familiar with it or when we overpush ourselves more than needed in a workout.

This can cause inflammation and release chemical irritants, activating pain receptors in muscle fibres.

It’s not compulsory that soreness can happen immediately after a workout; it can also cause in 1-2 days.

Recovering from Muscle Soreness:

You cannot avoid muscle soreness altogether, but various techniques can help you to reduce soreness and promote recovery.

Rest and Recovery:

Make sure to give your body enough rest after a strenuous workout. Avoid overtraining and allow yourself 24-48 hours of rest between workouts.

Gentle Stretching:

Motivated girl does stretching on yoga mat  to reduce muscle soreness

Add stretching exercises to your workout routine to increase blood circulation and make you more flexible.

Still, it would help if you kept in mind that you must avoid overstretching because that can increase the risk of muscle soreness.

Massage Therapy:

You can massage your muscles after workouts to increase blood circulation, which can help nutrients to reach every muscle through blood. It can reduce inflammation and mitigate muscle tension.

You can use a foam roller for massage or can take professional help.

Heat and Cold Therapy:

man taking hot shower to reduce muscle soreness side view portrait

You can try heat and cold therapy, such as:

  • For heat therapy: (take a warm shower, apply a heating pad on muscles)
  • For cold therapy: (apply an ice pack, take a cold shower)
  • The above therapy can reduce the risk of inflammation and relax your sore muscles.

Proper Nutrition:

Make sure you can consume a nutritious diet with a good amount of protein to grow and repair your muscles.

Additionally, drink at least 3-4 litres of water and add anti-inflammatory foods like fruits, green veggies, and good fats.

Light Exercise or Active Recovery:

senior sportsman taking morning walk and listening music with earphones

Make the body habitual to light exercises like walking, swimming, or cycling; these slight movements can increase blood circulation, preparing your body for intense workouts and reducing the risk of soreness and injury.

Pain Relief:

Some over-the-counter pain relief medications can provide temporary relief from muscle aches.

It would be best to consult with a doctor before taking any medication.

Gradual Progression:

Great things will take time as you do; if you think you can build muscle in one day and overtrain your body, then it’s your biggest mistake.

You have to allow your body some time to familiarise yourself with the workout and gradually increase the intensity of your workout.


Muscle soreness is a natural process that shows your muscles are trying to familiarise themselves with the workout and becoming more robust. Still, a good workout is not the only reason for healthy muscle mass.

Good recovery is also required to build muscle, So you should try the above tips after a workout to reduce muscle soreness, leading to better recovery and preparing you for your next training day.

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