Muscle soreness often occurs hours or even days after an intense workout session.
It is a side effect of the stress you put on your muscles when you are exercising. Experts refer to it as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), and it is completely normal.
In most cases, it begins within 6 to 8 hours after a new activity that puts pressure on your muscles and can last up to 24-48 hours post-exercise.
Muscle pain occurs due to inflammation within the muscle.
The quads (thigh muscles) are muscle groups that often fall victim to muscle soreness.
You may notice that after doing exercises that engage the quads, such as squats, your thighs get so sore that you feel pain with every movement you make.
No need to worry, though. This article will point out 10 of the best ways in which you can relieve pain in your sore quads after a thorough workout session.
ARE SORE MUSCLES A GOOD SIGN?
Pretty much, yes. Normal muscle soreness after a workout is nothing to worry about; it is a sign that you are getting stronger, which is a good thing if you are looking to stay fit.
During exercise, you put immense stress on your muscles, causing their fibres to break down. As the muscle fibres’ repair process begins, they become stronger and larger than they were before.
This makes them better prepared to handle stress during your next intense workout session.
Up to this point, muscle soreness sounds like a good thing, but this only applies to where the soreness is mild to moderate.
If the pain is a bit more than mild or moderate, then you should probably be worried.
Severe muscle pain after a workout can indicate muscle damage or injury, which may require you to seek medical attention.
For this reason, you must know the difference between normal muscle soreness and severe muscle soreness.
If you find yourself unable to carry out your daily activities due to your muscles’ soreness after working out, you should probably seek medical help.
If the soreness lasts longer than 72 hours, then the pain is probably more than normal.
In severe cases, muscles can break down so much that you become very sick and suffer kidney damage. This is why you should seek treatment as soon as you notice your soreness is not the normal kind.
SHOULD I WORK OUT WITH SORE QUADS?
It is advisable to give your sore muscles 1 to 2 days of rest before going back to doing exercises that work them.
So, if your quads are sore from an intense workout routine, you need to take some time off to enable them to recover.
This doesn’t mean you have to steer clear of the gym completely; you can definitely still work out as long as you make sure the exercises you are doing aren’t putting stress on the sore quads.
Remember, you can only get the results you want when you give your body enough time to recover, enabling your muscles to get stronger.
Here are some amazing tips on how to relieve your sore quads after an intense exercise;
REST AND RECOVER
Popularly known as R&R, resting and recovering is an essential part of post-workout care.
It allows your muscles to heal naturally and become bigger and stronger to serve you better during your next workout session.
If your quads are still sore after 48 hours, try applying heat to them.
The heat helps increase blood flow to your muscles, easing the tension in there and making you feel better.
Try putting a warm (not hot) heating pad or towel on the sore quads. It will likely reduce inflammation.
Be careful with the heat, though. Too much of it can cause burns or further inflame your muscles.
OTC PAIN MEDICINE
Anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen and aspirin can help reduce pain in your sore quads.
GET A MUSCLE MASSAGE
Getting a massage that uses light pressure, such as a Swedish massage, can help relieve pain in your sore quads by boosting blood flow in your legs and relieving tension in the muscles.
Stretching after an intense workout session is a great way to release tension in the muscles.
However, you need to make sure you keep it light to avoid overstretching your already tight muscles because this can make them even tighter and intensify your pain.
Your sore quads are likely to feel better after a short session of gentle rather than intense stretching.
Muscle soreness is essentially caused by inflammation within muscles. Ice will help decrease the swelling and inflammation in your sore quads.
An ice pack is highly recommended for this purpose.
You may prefer clinging to your sofa or lying comfortably under your covers, but moving will actually make you feel better.
Try low-impact exercises like swimming, riding your bike or just talking a nature walk at a slow pace.
Moving your body will likely make you feel better than lying down on your couch or bed.
MAKE SURE YOU’RE EATING ENOUGH PROTEIN
Proteins are the building blocks of muscles.
Eating them when you’re feeling sore after a high-intensity workout session will help build and repair your muscles.
When muscles break down during exercise, they release toxins and waste products associated with muscle soreness.
Drinking a lot of water post-workout will help flush them out hence reducing soreness in your muscles.
TAKE A WARM BATH
Taking a warm bath may help loosen tight muscles and improve blood flow, hence providing relief in your sore quads.
WHAT TO EAT FOR MUSCLE SORENESS
Muscle healing can be also be aided by a diet that contains foods that boost muscle rebuilding and healing, such as;
Research suggests that when professional athletes take tart cherry juice, their muscle pain significantly decreases, and their muscle damage is reduced compared to other beverages.
Loaded with about 23 grams of muscle-building protein per cup, cottage cheese might just be the ideal post-workout snack.
It is also one of the best sources of casein protein, a slow-digesting type of protein that will rejuvenate your sore muscles as you sleep at night.
A study done on athletes found that when they worked out in the evening and took casein protein shortly before going to bed, their muscle synthesis spiked.
The research on curcumin, an active ingredient of turmeric, found that it helps reduce pain associated with DOMS and improves muscle performance post-recovery.
Add turmeric in your curries, baked goods, smoothies, eggs or oatmeal after exercising to enjoy this benefit.
Any coffee lovers in the house? I’ve got incredible news for you.
Research suggests that taking a moderate dose of caffeine (about a cup or two of coffee) can significantly reduce muscle soreness after exercising. Pretty awesome, right?
This means you can get to drink your favourite beverage before working out and not feel as much pain as you normally would after a workout session.
Can it really get better than this?
Salmon is loaded with muscle-building protein, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. This makes it an almost-perfect post-workout food.
Research has linked the nutrients found in salmon to improved muscle protein synthesis, i.e. the process through which muscles are repaired and developed.
HOW TO GET RID OF SORE LEGS FROM SQUATS
Squats are quite the culprit of muscle soreness in the lower body. They engage a range of muscle groups, including the quads and leg muscles, leaving them feeling sore for a while after the workout.
If you are looking to relieve soreness in your legs after doing squats, the above-mentioned tips will work for you too.
Sore muscles can be such a bummer. I mean, who wants to feel pain after doing something that will benefit their body? No one! That’s who.
It is easy to get discouraged when you experience uncomfortable soreness in your muscles after you have endured a particularly intense workout, but please don’t give in to the temptation of quitting.
It gets better, I promise. The first few days can be challenging to get through, but your body will thank you later after your muscles have become strong enough to take you through more intense exercises in the future. Also check how to relieve sore quads after running.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]