Tips to help with muscular soreness
Muscle soreness is a thing we all go through whether it’s good or bad muscle soreness. Is there a good and bad muscle soreness? When I think of this I think good muscle soreness would be linked more with delayed onset muscles soreness (DOMS) and when I think bad I think due to an Injury.
Muscle soreness is due to a presence of inflammation. This can be due to an injury such as a muscular strain or due to DOMS.
Muscle soreness causes…
- Local tissue swelling
- Decreased blood supply
- Tight compartment in the muscle due to inflammation
(Brukner and Khan)
Muscle soreness is a side effect of the repair process that develops in response to microscopic muscle damage (ACSM and Crossfit Journal). To repair this micro damage from all your hard work in training the body initiates an inflammatory response to initiate the healing response. With DOMS you will feel soreness, aching, tightness and muscle tenderness upon palpation (Petrofsky et al). This pain won’t last forever it’s just a natural response to training, but there are ways we can reduce the intensity of this muscle soreness.
DOMS can be felt as a dull ache. So imagine you’ve been taking a little break over Christmas, eating lots of turkey. Then you come back after Christmas and you’ve done no exercise and you do a horrific work out. You then wake up the next day and BAM your legs feel like they are going to fall off. Yes this is DOMS. DOMS usually occurs after certain types of exercises, such as… you haven’t trained for a while; you have never done the exercise, a lot of eccentric exercise (muscle contraction when muscle is lengthening) or maybe a new exercise programme? DOMS affects all of us! This dull ache will start to develop after around 12 hours and you will feel the real muscle soreness kicking in around 24-48 hours post exercise, peaking at 48 hours (Brukner and Khan, Petrofsky et al). Unfortunately this type of muscle soreness occurs to enable us to develop and progress in our training. This pain won’t last forever and normally after 72 hours this muscle soreness will begin to decrease. The good thing is a study by Petrofsky et al shows that DOMS dramatically decreases when our body is exposed to the similar stimulus which previously caused our DOMs recently.
In this blog we are going to target our Glutes. There are plenty of ways to help target muscle soreness and here are some ideas below. Enjoy!
- Knee to chest with rotation
- Pidgeon stretch
Hold these stretches for at least 30-60 seconds to allow muscle relaxation to occur. Make sure you do not stretch into pain, as this will increase your chances of injury.
- Decreases stiffness and possible tension in muscle
- Promotes muscle relaxation
- Increase circulation
(Gremion et al and Petrofsky et al)
Lacrosse ball work:
Lacrosse ball work into the glutes is perfect and will act as a self-myofascial release. Follow the video below and release those glutes! Remember if this is too uncomfortable for you there are other ways to release your glutes such as use of a foam roller which will yes still be painful but will be a bit softer. Me personally I find the lacrosse ball more effective!
- Increase muscle relaxation
- Increase circulation
- Increase recovery
(Petrofsky et al)
How to manage muscle soreness of the Glutes
This is important to enable you to carry on training and prevent injury decreasing lactate levels in muscles compared to the couch potato kind of recovery on the sofa (Micklewright et al).
With gentle movement pain usually decreases. Sitting about doing nothing is when you are going to really feel that muscle soreness. Non-weight bearing exercise such as cycling, airdyne work will help with DOMS. Keep this nice and light and keep the body moving.
Keep the glutes moving so perform some glut targeting exercises such as lunging but keep this light with low repetition. We are thinking more about keeping movement in the glutes than loading the muscle itself. This will help blood flow to the area which will promote healing and therefore reduce muscular soreness.
Post exercise apply compression garments to decrease/prevent muscle soreness. For example apply compression leggings to target the glutes.
- Increase removal of blood lactate level (Chatard et al )
- Aid venous return
- Promoting stable alignment of muscle fibres and decreasing inflammatory response (Kramer et al)
- Decrease swelling (Petrofsky et al)
This can be performed by one of our therapists at our sports injury clinics.
- Increase rate of recovery
- Increase circulation
- Increase nutrients to muscle
Give some of these a go as learning to manage muscle soreness will make your training a lot more enjoyable, comfortable and will also prevent injuries occurring so let’s kick that muscle soreness in the butt!
Thank you for reading!
BSc Hons Sports Therapy MSST