Sore muscles are nothing else than muscle pains, appearing up to 72 hours after intensive physical effort. There is probably no person who has not experienced them at least once in their life. The discomfort may last even a few days and make normal activities difficult, such as climbing stairs or cleaning. So what are sore muscles and where do they come from?
Until recently it was believed that the formation of sour muscles is caused by lactic acid. It was a theory stating that lactic acid, accumulating in the muscles, causes noticeable discomfort. It has been proven that lactic acid remains in the muscles for at most two hours and is washed out by the blood. Commonly known as delayed onset muscle soreness syndrome (DOMS), this theory was first described in 1902 by Theodore Hough.
There are many speculations on how muscle soreness occurs, but the most popular is that it is simply pain caused by the micro-damage to the muscles that occurs during intense exercise. In the case of overtraining, inflammation of muscle tissues may also occur, which triggers pain receptors, causing soreness
It is worth noting that with regular training of the same muscle parts, soreness usually does not occur. This is because muscles can regenerate quickly. This process is called “building form”. If you have specific physique goals, you should not get your muscles used to specific exercises, because without proper stimulation, progress will not be possible. Therefore, from time to time, you should increase the level of difficulty of the training.
Unfortunately there is no golden remedy for soreness. The best is rest and proper regeneration. If we train properly we may not experience them or minimize their effects. At the beginning the workouts should be lighter so that the muscles gradually prepare themselves for the performed work, and later the intensity of workouts should be increased. It is important to start each workout with a warm-up and finish with a decent stretch. Then the risk of soreness is really minimal.
Sore muscles are nothing harmful and you should not treat them as such. Some athletes even crave them because they give extra motivation and show that the training was really intense. However, if you have developed soreness after training and want to reduce its effects, it is good to take a relaxing bath in hot water, which will relieve some pain. It is best to prepare such a bath with essential oils that relieve muscle pain – with juniper or clove. Also great for this purpose is the sauna immediately after training, which will also enable faster recovery of muscles after intense exercise. If the pain is severe, a light massage and warm or cold compresses on the most painful areas will also work well. If the pain is really bad, you can use analgesic and anti-inflammatory ointments or even painkillers