How to Heal Overworked Muscles

Working out too much and not allowing your muscles to rest and recover could be detrimental. Over worked muscles are more prone to injury. When your body is overworked, it becomes more susceptible to infections and various illnesses. Resting muscles between work outs or cutting down on the amount of exercise you are doing could prevent future injuries. Symptoms of overworked muscles include constant muscle soreness, increased resting heart rate, increased incidence of injuries, irritability, lack of motivation, depression and insomnia.

We all get over worked muscles from time to time: after an endurance event, trying a new exercise for the first time, using heavier weights than necessary or spending too much time working the same muscle group. Regardless of the reason here are some tips that can help alleviate the symptoms:

Massage

massage heal muscles

A deep tissue massage, or sports massage, is ideal for releasing muscle tension brought on by overworked muscles. Constant tension in the muscles may lead to stress on the joints, tendons, and ligaments resulting in additional injury. Regular deep tissue massages can help athletes avoid injury and stress.

Massaging the muscles with the jets of a hot tub is another way to help massage sore muscles.   The jets will increase blood flow and relieve soreness.

Foam Rollers

foam rollers

Can’t get an appointment with a massage therapist? Do it yourself. It may not be as effective but it will still help to alleviate tension. Foam rollers are often used in physical therapy to help alleviate pain from overworked muscles. The roller elongates and massages the muscles. It helps to open and flex the joints restoring flexibility to the body.

Temperature contrast therapy

This technique has been around a while because it works. Temperature contrast therapy involves exposing the affected muscle to ice cold temperatures and then switching the temperature to something hot. You can achieve this through hot and cold showers or you can use ice packs and heating pads to create the same result. The change in temperature causes the nerves to be stimulated. As a result, the nerves then go on to stimulate the immune system, improve circulation, digestion, increase blood flow and lessen the pain response.

The hot/cold contrast therapy can be applied 2-3 days until swelling and soreness subsides. Do a 20 minute treatment several times throughout the day, alternate between hot and cold temperatures every 10 minutes.

Enough Energy

healthy diet

Overtraining of any exercise can cause the body to lose key nutrients that help in the recovery of overworked muscles. It’s important to get enough calories to assist the body with recovery. A diet of healthy carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats is essential to giving the body the nutrients it needs for repair.

Split Train

Split training

Split training is when you work different sets of muscles on different days. Four days between certain muscle groups is considered ideal. It’s important to have at least one rest day each week.

This will help to prevent overtraining from occurring again. Allow at least 4 days between training a certain body part again, and always have at least one day of rest from training each week.

Light Exercise

If you are suffering from muscle soreness you don’t have to skip your workout all together. Light exercises and stretching can actually help to alleviate muscle tightness and increase circulation. If you must continue your regular workout schedule, try using lighter weights than what you are accustomed to for a few days. Other light exercises include walking, stretching and regular daily activities. Light exercises help to speed up the healing process.

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