Whether you are seasoned athletes or weekend athletes, you have undoubtedly already experienced this feeling of sore muscles that we more commonly call aches . Very unpleasant, we very often wait passively for this pain to go away on its own. But did you know that there are incredibly effective natural remedies ?
I. Aches: Késako?
Did you know that aches and pains are also called DOMS ? The English abbreviation for “ D elayed O nset M uscle S oreness”. For those less good in English, it means “ delayed painful muscle manifestation ”, a perfect summary of what aches are! And as if the pain wasn't enough, your muscle becomes very tender and stiff .
But have you noticed that all of these sensations rarely occur at rest? It's only when you contract, stretch or put pressure on your muscle that you experience these discomforts.
And if you ever want an excuse to justify an absence or skip an appointment, you can always say that you suffer from “muscular mechanical hyperalgesia”, another very scientific synonym….
II. Causes: Who are the aggressors?
The main cause and the best known of all: sport ! Are you in the Sunday sports category and have you suddenly decided to get back into sport after months of stopping? Or are you more of the seasoned athlete category and you have increased the intensity of your training? This unusual or intense physical effort will use your muscles which had lost the habit of working or were not used to working as much! They are not able to withstand the load imposed, which causes microtrauma to the muscle fibers and tendons and even sometimes an effusion of blood due to rupture of the blood capillaries . This causes microdamage to muscle cells . In response to lesions , the latter react through an inflammatory and immune reaction by producing cytokines (TNF-a, interleukin-6 and macrophages). The nerve endings are therefore stimulated mechanically (by microlesions) and chemically (by cytokines), hence the appearance of this pain which we call aches or myalgia . These ultimately correspond to the reconstitution and adaptation of the muscle to prevent similar attacks if an identical exercise is repeated.
As you will have understood, physical condition will play a big role in the appearance of aches. Thus, the consequences of a 15km hike will not be the same for a trained jogger as for a sedentary geek. But good physical condition does not prevent aches! A bodybuilder who usually works his biceps by pulling may suffer if he decides to suddenly work them by doing push-ups, a completely new movement for the muscle.
Moreover, bodybuilding is one of the sports most likely to cause muscle soreness because it is an eccentric exercise, that is to say an exercise where the muscle contracts while it is lengthening. Note that the production of lactic acid is almost zero during the practice of this sport, contradicting the hypothesis that acidosis would be responsible for muscle pain. In any case, this hypothesis had already been undermined for a simple reason of timing: lactic acid is eliminated 1 to 2 hours after exercise and DOMS arrives 12 to 48 hours after exercise , so nothing to see!
Likewise, acute pain occurring during physical exertion should not be confused with aches. This is the case, for example, for cramps, strains and contractures.
Viral infection can also be the cause of so-called “effortless” aches and pains. Indeed, the virus reaches the lymph nodes which produce lymphocytes en masse to fight it. This inflammatory fight chemically stimulates muscle nerve endings, causing pain.
Dehydration weakens the muscles and leads to an oxygen deficiency, which is very conducive to muscle aches.
Stress is often the cause of muscular hypertonia (increased muscle tone). This helps release anxiety. However, over time and without the necessary rest, this overuse causes painful muscle exhaustion .
III. Consequences: is it serious, doctor?
If the aches are absolutely not dangerous, the pain can be debilitating. The muscle becomes difficult to fully engage and the range of motion is reduced . A loss of strength and muscle power is also possible and a reduction in proprioception (perception of one's body in space) is common. The muscle temporarily loses its ability to absorb shock and unusual stresses put pressure on the muscles and tendons .
This discomfort and difficulty in movement can impact athletic performance and increase the risk of injury .
Be careful, if the pain does not disappear after ten days, it is essential to consult a doctor because this may be due to more serious illnesses such as myopathies.
IV. Bye-bye aches and pains with our 10 solutions
How to get rid of aches and prevent them from coming back to ruin the next sports session?
Solution #1 : First of all, adopt a healthy lifestyle . Adequate hydration is essential so do not hesitate to drink 1.5L of liquid per day (6 to 9 glasses) before, during and after a sports session. If this is too difficult, do not hesitate to use mobile slimming applications. Some offer trackers that record glasses of water drunk over a given time. Also, don’t hesitate to drink flavored waters. Tea and coffee count too!
For food , you should focus on foods rich in vitamins and potassium such as citrus fruits, bananas and dried fruits.
Solution no. 2 : Warming up before any sporting activity allows the muscles to warm up, which allows you to gain flexibility . The tendons then become more elastic and blood oxygen flow increases . This helps prevent microtrauma and therefore muscle damage as well as muscle stiffening after exercise.
Solution #3 : Low-intensity eccentric exercises (muscle strengthening) can be an excellent starting technique to allow the muscles to adapt to constraints, because the more you train, the less prone to aches and pains ! The intensity of exercises should be increased gradually.
Solution No. 4 : Stretching , even if all studies do not point in the same direction, significantly reduces the risk of aches and improves joint range of motion . Be careful not to overstretch, however, as excessive stretching can itself lead to soreness.
Solution #5 : Respect your body. Should I return to sport if I have aches? The answer is yes, but very gentle! We recommend moderate walking, stretching or cycling or any other activity involving concentric or isometric contractions (but not eccentric!). Non-traumatic activities that will keep my muscles moving, irrigate them and warm them up. Raising the temperature is the best way to relieve aches. On the other hand, too intense an effort with an already damaged muscle risks increasing the lesions and increasing the risk of injury.
Solution n°6 : A massage for 20 minutes up to 2 hours after exercise of the muscles concerned, using gels, targeted creams or arnica, proves to be an excellent remedy for relieving DOMS . It would be effective on tissue recovery in the 24-48 hours following its completion through its inhibitory action on the production of cytokines and therefore on the inflammatory reaction causing pain.
Solution no. 7 : Generally speaking, any activity that increases blood flow through heat will be beneficial in relieving you: massages, hot baths, sauna, thermal cushions, self-heating patches.
Solution #8 : Cold can also be a solution via cryotherapy , even if it is much less accessible.
Solution #9 : Medications (painkillers, anti-inflammatories) can also help, but it is best to seek the advice of a doctor.
Solution #10 : Finally, there are natural solutions like homeopathy, aromatherapy and herbal medicine. Our Work & Play and Flex & Form food supplements help reduce aches and pains and offer you the best sporting experience for a successful sports session!
Aches are painful, unpleasant and spoil your sporting performance. Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid them: hydration, proper nutrition, warming up, stretching, massages, dietary supplements, etc. Because Reborn's priority is to take care of you and support you in your daily life, we designed the sport duo! The latter helps in particular to prevent and fight against muscle aches. Do you want to put an end to aches and pains? > https://www.reborn.paris/products/work-flex