The weather is finally improving, and you decide to push that run as you enjoy the weather. And you push it a little farther than maybe you should have... you feel great, until the next morning when you can barely move! It is a common feeling when you try a new activity, push your limits an increase the effort, or increase the intensity. It usually comes on 8-12 hours after an adticity, and can last anywhere from 24 hours to 3 days. Anything longer than that, or any debilitating pain or darkness of the urine can indicate a medical issue that is not just soreness and you should contact your doctor immediately. Muscle stiffness may be the only symptom you feel, or you may feel decreased range of motion, slight swelling, or even pain. It is a result of microtrauma, or muscle fibers minutely breaking down, during an activity, only to be built up stronger and larger. This allows you to return to that activity and then it may not feel as difficult, as your body remembers. But how do we get rid of this feeling? There are a few things you can do:
-Foam roll the area. Foam rollers, if you are not familiar with them, are long tube shaped peices of hard foam no longer than a few feet. When you roll them along the sore muscle, it compresses and releases that muscle, increasing the blood flow with pressure and release. There are specific foam rolls for different muscles of the body.
-Massage. There is evidence that massage actually blocks inflammation and increases the release of mitochondria by the cells, which turn glucose into energy and help with the repair of the building blocks of muscles.
-Stretching. Slow movements to increase the range of motion in a sore area will allow the muscles to slowly increase movement during recovery and improve muscle memory. For stretches, click here. For wall stretches to stretch out the achilles tendon and your heel, click here.
-Soaking your body in Epsom salts. How does that help? Epsom salts containg magnesium, which when absorbed by the body, help with flushing lactic acid build up which in turn can help sore muscles.
-Alternate cold and hot. The warm compress or warm water will increase the blood flow to the sore area, while the cold water or ice will in turn decrease the inflammation.
In the end, the fear of muscle soreness should not cause you to avoid trying that new work out because after all, we all want to "stress" our muscles in a good way. In that way, you know you are making gains and can feel it. If you have any problems with your feet and ankles in the course of your exercise, or even have questions regarding your feet, give our office a call.