Muscle aches may occur after intense physical exercise, overuse or a minor injury. Muscle strain and pain caused by overuse is localized to specific muscles in the body. Infection, illness or a medication can cause muscle aches throughout the entire body or systemic muscle pain. A physician must evaluate and treat systemic muscle pain. Home care or self-care can relieve the pain of muscle aches and promote healing. Muscle aches that is the result of physical activity or overuse appears within 12 to 48 hours after the activity.
1.Reduce the swelling and relieve pain. Apply ice to the affected muscle to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Use ice packs in the first 24 to 72 hours after a muscle strain. Apply the cold pack to the affected area three times a day for about 20 minutes. Over the counter ibuprofen can reduce the swelling and relieve the pain of muscle aches and pains.
Compression bandages and elevation reduce swelling as well. Elevation promotes circulation or blood flow to the sore muscles.
2. Apply heat to the affected muscle to promote increased blood flow and healing of a strained muscle. Circulation and blood flow can help to heal torn or strained muscles. Heat compresses or soaking in a hot tub can help to improve circulation in the affected area.
3. Rest the affected muscles to allow healing time for strained and torn muscles. Continuing intense physical activity can prevent healing of the sore muscles and may result in further injury.
4.Begin light stretching to promote healing of the muscles. Gentle stretches of the muscles can improve muscle tone during the healing process. Avoid high impact aerobic activities or weight lifting while experiencing pain in the muscles. Physical therapists can recommend stretching exercises to relieve muscle aches and pains. Walking, cycling or swimming can help to strengthen the muscles and avoid re-injuring them. Low impact aerobic activity provides physical exercise without causing another injury of the muscle.
Gradually increase activities to restore normal function of the muscle. Give the muscles time to heal and stop activities if pain reoccurs.
- Massage on the affected muscles can help to relieve pain for aches and strains.
- Try slowly stretching your muscle after icing and/or heating.
- Relax and take it easy. Try to sit in a comfortable position that does not strain the sore muscles.
- A hot shower or bath will help ease the pain.
- A bag of frozen peas or vegetables works well as an ice pack for muscle pain.