What can I do for the aches and pain after my workouts?

If you begin having joint or muscle pain during or after your workouts, be sure to consult a professional regarding your program. To help relieve some of the irritation that you have, try using ice, stretching, and foam rolling to decrease your pain. Ice is good at reversing some of the effects that stressful training can have on the body's tissues. Specifically, ice decreases swelling, the energy demand of tissues, and pain by numbing the nerves. For optimal benefit, ice the affected area for 15-20 minutes or until the skin is a rosy pink color. Stretching is another effective method of avoiding post-workout pain. Research shows that those people who stretch on a regular basis have less soreness (known as delayed-onset muscle soreness) after a workout. It has been suggested that optimal stretching technique should include1-4 repetitions per muscle group and be held statically for 30 seconds each. To gain additional benefit, try using a foam roll to help increase the mobility of any tight or stiff muscles by rolling the affected area over the foam roll. For specific tips on how foam roll exercises are performed, contact a local physical therapist or certified personal trainer.

Yusuf Boyd, NASM Elite Trainer
Athletic Training
That depends on what specific aches and pains you are experiencing. If it is more than DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), consult your physician, you may have an issue than needs medical attention. For DOMS, use ice after activity for 20 minutes. A quart ziplock bag filled 1/2 way with crushed ice works well. Apply to the sore area for no more than 20 minutes. This can be repeated as often as you like but with an hour between icing sessions.

Other things that will help are a proper warm up including active stretching and SMR (self myofascial release) using a stick (plastic apparatus or foam roll). Stretching and performing SMR after activity will also further reduce the intensity of DOMS. Following these tips should help you with your issue. If you are unsure of how to apply SMR techniques, look to your local fitness professional for assistance.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.