After a new or an intense workout, many exercisers experience what’s known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The sensation of soreness usually sets in 12 to 24 hours after completing an exercise session and commonly produces the most pain between 24 to 72 hours afterwards.
Although it’s nearly impossible to completely avoid soreness after an intense workout, there are several things you can do to reduce the effects of DOMS and a few techniques you can use to help relieve the symptoms of sore muscles too.
If you progress your exercise program slowly and allow enough recovery time between workouts for your muscles to fully repair you can reduce the severity of DOMS before it sets in.
Although there isn’t much research to support strategies for speeding up muscle recovery time, you can at least reduce the symptoms of DOMS and relieve muscle soreness by ensuring proper nutrition intake directly after exercise, using a foam roller or getting a massage, wearing compression apparel and applying ice to the affected area.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that pain reduction as result of these methods is not equal to recovery. Although you may no longer feel sore, your muscles may still need more time to repair so always make sure to allow for adequate recovery time between workouts.
See also: The Dos and Don’ts of Workout Recovery