When I started running, I noticed a calf pain the next day after exercise. When I got out of bed and gasped in the tightness of my calf with pain, it was very cruel to me, so I asked my friends how to relieve this pain.
In fact, after strenuous exercise of legs such as running, football, weightlifting, it is very common for the lower leg to be painful, especially when starting a new sport or increasing the intensity of the exercise. Studies have found that the cause of calf pain after exercise is caused by damage to the calf muscle fiber tissue and connective tissue. Cindy Ng Li Whye, the chief physical therapist at Singapore General Hospital, said the pain from this exercise is medically known as delayed onset muscle soreness.
How long does this muscle pain last?
From beginners to fitness crowds and even athletes, this muscle soreness cannot be avoided. No matter what level of muscle strength the body reaches, as long as the intensity of exercise is increased, this type of delayed muscle soreness will be encountered.
Fortunately, muscle soreness after exercise usually lasts 1-3 days, during which time the pain will increase to the apex and then gradually fade away. However, if the pain does not disappear after a few days of rest, but more severe pain appears, you may have suffered a severe muscle injury and need to go to the hospital for examination and treatment.
How to relieve muscle pain?
In the face of delayed onset muscle soreness after exercise, time is the best treatment. Use enough rest time to wait for the muscles to repair themselves so that the muscles are no longer sore. But you can also use some methods to help treat or effectively relieve late-onset muscle soreness, reduce the discomfort of calf muscles, shorten the cycle of muscle self-repair, and avoid enduring long-term muscle soreness.
1. Stretch the calf muscles
Stretching the muscles within 30 minutes after exercising to relax the tight calf muscles can effectively prevent or reduce muscle pain after exercise.
Step 1: Find a step against the wall. Stand on the edge of the step with your forefoot on your left foot, and then raise your knees straight with your hind feet suspended. Lift your right foot for 5 seconds. To ensure safety, you can use your hand to prevent the wall from falling.
Step 2: Slowly lower the left foot and the sole without touching the ground for 5 seconds At this time, the calf muscles will feel stretched.
Step 3: Slowly lift your left foot and hold it for 5 seconds.
Step 4: Repeat the same for the right foot. Complete 5 groups.
2. Massage the muscles
Massaging the muscles by a professional massage therapist is a way to relieve muscle soreness, but you need to pay a small fee. If you don't want to pay for this exercise every time, you can also choose to use tools such as foam rollers to help release tense muscles to reduce sore leg muscles.
Step 1: Sit on the floor with the foam roller under your right ankle, with your legs straight and your toes up.
Step 2: Cross the left ankle on the right ankle.
Step 3: Put your hands on both sides of your hips, slowly raise your hips, use your arm to move your hips back and forth, and let the foam roller roll back and forth between your ankles and knees.
Step 4: Repeat the action 5 times, then switch to the left ankle. A total of 5-10 groups of exercise can be completed, which can be determined according to the degree of muscle tension.
3. Use ice pack
Cryotherapy is an emergency treatment for muscle pain, which can quickly relieve pain. When performing cryotherapy, first wet the towel, then wrap the ice pack with a wet towel, and apply it to the muscle pain area for about 15 minutes, but it should be noted that you cannot use an ice pack or ice to directly contact the skin to avoid skin frostbite.
Ice packs can reduce blood flow to the calf, reduce tissue bleeding, and relieve muscle inflammation and swelling caused by pain. Ice packs can also numb tissues, slow down pain messages transmitted to the brain, and reduce muscle spasms and pain. Cryotherapy can only provide rapid analgesia, and cannot treat pain and wounds. If serious sports injuries occur, it needs to be treated effectively by a doctor.
4. Wear compression leg sleeves
Leg sleeves can provide progressive compression to the calf muscles, increase pressure on the muscles to force the calf's blood to flow back to the heart quickly, promote calf blood circulation, increase the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, effectively reduce muscle soreness, and accelerate calf muscle recovery, and can reduce the phenomenon of calf muscle swelling after exercise.
Many people think that the calf is swollen because of pain, but in fact, because the swelling compresses the calf blood vessels because of the swelling, the pain is caused by compressing the calf muscles by wearing a compressed calf sleeve to reduce swelling and relieve muscle soreness. Compression of the calf sleeve can not only help reduce pain and improve calf muscle fatigue after exercise but also can effectively prevent or reduce swelling to prevent pain during exercise.
5. Hot water therapy
Bathing is a cheap and easy solution. By immersing the body in hot water to increase the body temperature, dilate blood vessels to promote blood circulation, and increase the nutrients needed for muscle recovery to help relaxed muscles relax and relieve muscle soreness after exercise.
And additional Epsom salts can be added so that the magnesium in the solution can be absorbed by the skin and penetrate into the blood vessels to reduce muscle soreness and improve muscle function. However, hot water therapy is not suitable for use immediately after exercise, otherwise, it may exacerbate soreness; using it the next day after the soreness can effectively help relieve soreness.