Dealing With Acute Muscle Soreness

What is Acute Muscle Soreness?

Acute muscle soreness is the normal muscle soreness you feel during or immediately following exercise. It’s often known by its acronym, AMS, and it is often a fairly severe and piercing pain. This is in opposition to its counterpart, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which typically only takes effect at least a day after exercise, and tends to be more a dull but persistent ache. Acute muscle soreness can be very painful and disruptive to exercise and other activities.

Preventing Acute Muscle Soreness

The best way to deal with AMS is to prevent it altogether. There are several proactive measures that you can take to this effect:

1.  Stay hydrated. Muscles without sufficient water are much more likely to be sore.

2.  Eat a healthy diet. Soreness is also often the result of a deficiency in some vitamins or minerals. Be sure to eat a healthy diet to obtain as many nutrients as possible, thus avoiding deficiency.

3.  Warm up and stretch. The dominant cause of muscle soreness is lack of sufficient preparation before exercise. Always take the time for a good warm up session, including an extensive round of stretches before working out. This loosens your muscles and prepares them for the stress of physical activity.

Treating Acute Muscle Soreness

Sometimes, no matter what you do, you can end up with AMS. Luckily, it usually diminishes within a few hours. During that period, however, there are steps you can take to reduce pain and healing time.

1.  Stop activity. Whatever activity you’re engaged in that’s causing the muscle soreness should be ceased as quickly as possible. Further movement will only agitate the problem.

2.  Stretch. A slow, easy stretch of the aching muscles can do wonders for loosening them up and easing the pain.

3.  Massage. A gentle, deep massage is also an incredibly effective remedy for acute muscle soreness

4.  Medication. If all else fails, you can take over the counter painkillers to help dull the pain. Usually basic Ibuprofen or Advil should be enough.

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