Anyone who has worked out will have likely experienced what is known as delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. This is a perfectly natural occurrence that happens when you carry out any form of physical activity and cause your muscle fibers to tear, these muscles are rebuilt (and that's how they grow), but the initial tear can and likely will create soreness. This article will explain how to relieve sore muscles, so your training and everyday movements aren’t hindered.

How to Relieve Sore Muscles



Before exercising you should always warm your muscles and raise your heart-rate. This can be achieved with a light jog or quick, low-intensity cardiovascular routine. This will get your body ready for your workout, and should be done prior to stretching.



You should always stretch pre and post workout to decrease the possibility of injury as well as muscle soreness. A proper, full-body stretching routing carried out before and after you exercise will help to reduce the soreness felt 24-48 hours after (as a result of DOMS).



It is a known fact that muscles grow and recover during periods of rest. When people workout, the break down and tear muscle fibers, it is only when that individual rests does the body begin it’s natural regenerative process and rebuild the broken down muscles. This is why resting is so important. Another importing thing to remember if your exercise routine is extremely vigorous is to allow rest days between workouts through the week to give your body adequate time to recover. You could, for example, exercise for two days then rest for one. If, after resting, you continue your workout and find that you are still in a bit of pain, then you may wish to ease up on the intensity until you feel ready to increase it once again.


Practice Correct Form

Ensuring that you carry out your exercises correctly when working out will ensure that you do not add unwanted strain upon the muscle group you are training, therefore limiting the amount of soreness you will feel post workout.


Hydrate and Eat

Staying hydrated throughout your workout is very important and can also help reduce muscle inflammation and soreness. After you have exercised, you also need to refuel with the right food. Protein is the essential nutrient in building muscle so should be consumed in liberal amounts.


Move Your Muscles

When learning how to relieve sore muscles, one may assume that resting them is the best option. Whilst rest is important, it is equally as important to move around (even slowly) to get the blood flowing. Remaining stagnant for too long can increase the amount of DOMS you experience.


Have a Bath

Soaking in hot water can help reduce muscle soreness and inflammation, as well as relax the mind. Adding Epsom salts to a warm bath adds an extra muscle-relaxing quality as these salts contain magnesium, a muscle relaxant. Alternating between hot and cold water soaking (hot bath to ice bath) can also be more beneficial in muscle recovery, working to open blood vessels and increase recovery time. Applying heat directly to your sore muscles, via a warmed cloth or heated pad, can also help with recovery by methods of heat therapy.


Nutrients to Consume

  • Omega-3, found naturally in fish, nuts and spinach, can help to reduce inflammation and soreness following a vigorous workout routine.

  • Tart cherries are also believed to help reduce muscle soreness, and are also packed full of healthy anti-oxidants.

  • Pineapples contain an enzyme called ‘bromelain’ which has great anti-inflammatory benefits which can help reduce DOMS.

If you find it difficult to fit all of these beneficial aspects into your diet, then supplementation is an option. You can buy omega-3 and bromelian supplements, as well as quality protein powders to further benefit your recovery.



When ascertaining how to relieve sore muscles, self-massage is a cheap, easy and effective option. The best way to do this is with a foam roller, which utilizes a method of focused pressure massage, helping to reduce damage to the muscles connective tissue. Self-massage also means that you can control the level of pressure, and you can also stop immediately if you feel too much pain.



Caffeine can work to block a chemical in the body named adenosine, which is usually released in response to injury. By doing this, caffeine can help to reduce the amount of soreness felt within one’s muscles. The recommended amount is equal to around two cups of coffee, just be sure not to consume too much caffeine as this is known to have negative effects.


Take Creatine

Creatine is an amino acid created within the body, which helps to deliver energy to muscle cells and the cells of the body. Whilst the body does produce creatine naturally, it can also be purchased and consumed in supplemental form. Some argue that creatine isn't needed due to the fact it is created naturally, whereas others would state that the more of this essential amino acid you consume the better.


Avoid Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medication

Things like ibuprofen can help to reduce muscle inflammation and soreness, which could lead one to assume that they would be beneficial when trying to learn how to relieve sore muscles. This is not the case. Such medications reduce the production of prostaglandins within the body, which are lipid compounds known to help with the healing of muscles. If you want immediate relief via medication, opt for something like Tylenol, which will not inhibit the recovery process of your muscles, though the methods listed above may prove more beneficial.


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    Wow, I am frustrated my last period was in Feb, I have symptoms no nausea and vomitting both urine and blood are negative stomache getting bigger and I had a tubal, however I have done the necklace trick on me and my husband both say we are having twins.
  • Sumit slathiaApr.16 02:21
    I have lower back pain on the left side. Had it two years ago lasted fr an year n went many to doctors but cannot diagnose the reason behind pain. Xray n MRI reports were normal. After span of tume pain automatically went off. And few days back was doing exercise lifted light weight and felt uneasiness in th back after work out. And 2-3 days aftrr the same pain has started again what i had 2 years before. Its on the left lower side of back. Pain is severe. Its a kind of pinching pain. Can feel the pain on the hip and on legt waist. But by pressing those areas i dont feel any pain. The pain is more when i lie down on bed on the back. As the left hip get pressed and i feel more pain on the lower back and hip and some numbness also on the hip. Some time uneasiness in the left leg. Doesnt feel much pain while standing but when on bed on the back it gets worse. Please tell what can be the reason of the pain And should be done to cure it. I need an expert advice on this as earlier i visited many doctors in india but nothing was identified for the reason of pain. Anyone who been through this condition and got cured Please contact me on WhatsApp 8826680370 n suggestt me the solution.
  • SeemaMar.12 14:24
    I had pain on my left side. l am not able to walk and sit. Doctor said that you had a severe backache. l need another opinion from a medical expert.
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  • Lunga MvakwendluFeb.21 13:46
    I have lower back pains but mine its more painful on the right side,what can be the cause and how can I treat it?
  • AinFeb.5 22:39
    Helpful information! Keep it up
  • Cynthia White Feb.5 09:10
    it it's very interesting and really helpful .thanks
  • Hyun BaeJan.27 11:33
    Hey Mae! You have written very informative blog and it will surely make many people aware of the reasons of back pain which are actually not associated with the spine. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential for a healthy back. Exercises are extremely beneficial to alleviate back pain, but if this method does not help with the pain, consulting a reputable spine surgeon is paramount.
  • JayJan.14 13:01
    Lately I had pains on my left lower back.After visiting a doctor I was advice to take an x-ray.There were certain growths on my back bone.The doctor said it's normal as we age.The growth does compress the nerves ,as according to doctor that actually causes the pain.I need another opinion from a medical expert.
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