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Post Workout Muscle Care – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

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We are all familiar with the soreness that sets in after starting a new exercise regime. When our muscles are not used to strenuous activity, a new routine can strain them. This is known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and it sets in after 24 hours after exercising. It presents itself as a sore, aching and painful feeling in your muscles. It can restrict our range of motion and mobility. Usually, it goes away by itself within a few days and does not require medical attention. Don’t worry, your muscle soreness after a workout should not stop you from exercising. It is a normal part of any physical activity and it’s a sign that your muscles are growing stronger from exercise.

Here are some post-workout muscle care tips that will help you ease the pain of delayed onset muscle soreness:

Light Massage:

The pressure from a massage session can help you curtail the effects of DOMS. Massages get rid of toxins from the body and stimulate blood flow. Better blood flow means more nutrients being carried to your tissues and faster repair time. It also helps relieve muscle tightness, soreness and tension. Foam rollers are a common self-massage tool used by athletes and gym-goers. It is a cylindrical roller with shapes jutting out made of foam. You place it on the floor, lower a sore area of your body over it, and roll gently back and forth. Consider getting one to use post or pre-workout.

Pain Relief Balms and Heat Patches:

Using a pain relief balm or spray can provide relief from sore muscles. You can also use a heat patch over the affected area. Heat patches use induced heat for the healing process, they promote blood flow and ease painful muscles. They are not meant to be used on fresh injuries, use only on areas where you’re experiencing muscle pain. Hansaplast’s Capsicum Heat Plasters use Capsaicin extracts to treat muscle pain through an induced heat method. Not only is it good for muscle pain but it also provides relief from conditions like arthritis, fibrositis and lumbago.

A hot bath:

A nice, hot soak after your workout can do wonders for your body. A hot bath is a cure for a lot of ailments, including sore muscles. It helps your body relax and unwind and increases circulation. Add Epsom salts to your bath water for added healing, it eases muscle pain and is also good for relieving headaches.

Support bands:

Using support bands such as elbow bands, hand wrist bands or knee supports for gym workouts can provide extra stability and protection to your muscles. Use Hansaplast’s Sport Wrist Brace to offer compression and support to your wrists as you exercise or while participating in athletic activities. In case of soreness around your knee joint, you can use Hansaplast’s Sport Knee Brace to relieve pain.

It’s important to note that although you can ease the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness once it sets in, you can’t get rid of it entirely. It will go away by itself in two-three days. You can continue with your exercise routine in the meantime, but don’t attempt any extra strenuous or taxing exercises until your muscles ease up. 

If you exercise smart from the beginning, delayed onset muscle soreness can be avoided entirely. Follow these tips pre-workout to protect your muscles from DOMS:


Never start any physical activity without doing some quick stretches and warm-ups first. Whether you’re exercising, going for a run or playing a sport, take 10 minutes to do some basic stretches and prepare your muscles for activity. Doing 10 minutes of cool-down exercises at the end is also encouraged.

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Phased Progress:

If you’ve just started learning a new sport or a new exercise regime then remember to take it slow. Don’t attempt to do hardcore exercises or routines from the jump, start small and make your way up gradually. Let your body get used to the strain in a phased manner instead of diving straight into it. An irregular routine can also create problems, avoid long breaks in routine.

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Make sure you are staying hydrated by drinking enough water before and after you work out. The recommended daily intake of water for men is 3.6 litres and for women, 2.6. You can drink water 30 minutes before starting your workout and take sips in between to stay cool. Drinking water post-workout is a must to regulate your body temperature, make up for the fluid lost in sweating and deter muscle soreness after your workout.

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Please note that the above recommendations are general care tips. Consult a health care professional in case of any uncertainty around wound treatment and healing.

Always see your doctor if a wound is deep, bleeding profusely or shows signs of infection. For diabetic patients especially, proper wound care holds the utmost importance. Do not hesitate to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor or your podiatrist, even when it comes to minor wounds and cuts – especially if they’re on your feet.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Although compiled with great care, it is not a substitute for professional advice. If you have or suspect a health problem, consult your doctor immediately. 

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