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Should I Take Painkillers for Muscle Soreness?
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Should I Take Painkillers for Muscle Soreness?

Painkillers for Muscle Soreness.

Sometimes your body feels very sore after an intense workout. This phenomenon is referred to as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and it usually kicks in a day or two after the workout. Anyone can experience DOMS regardless of how fit they are – from athletes to beginners.

For many people, this soreness is manageable and easy to overlook. It does not impede one’s ability to perform other functions or work out again. But in some cases, the soreness can be painful. You might be prompted to take painkillers to deal with the pain, but truth be told, you are better off without them. In fact, there are other methods you can try to alleviate your muscle pain.

The Risks of Painkillers

Strong painkillers can disrupt your body’s healing process and cause more problems. Here are the risks associated with painkillers taken for muscle soreness.

·       Delayed Rate of Healing

Swelling and inflammation is your body’s way to cope with muscle tears. Soreness is a symptom of both damage and repair. But strong painkillers have anti-inflammatory properties. This is how they are able to numb the pain from soreness. Though it might feel good in the short-term, these anti-inflammatory painkillers actually disrupt the body’s healing mechanism.

·       Blocking Warning Signals

Pain is your body’s way of telling you to stop and rest, or seek treatment. After an intense workout at the gym when your body becomes sore, it is a sign that your body needs repair and care. It warns you to take things slowly and carefully. Eventually, the pain and soreness subside indicating that your body has healed for another round of intense workout. If it continues to pain, you need to seek medical care. But if you are on painkillers, you may never know if your body has healed properly. Sometimes, you may need more rest but the painkillers do not let you feel any soreness. As a result, you keep pushing yourself to the point of complete exhaustion and fatigue. This can cause long term damage to your body.

·       Reduction in Gains

According to some studies, painkillers can interfere with the protein synthesis in your muscles. This can adversely affect your gains. Though the impact may not be extreme, it still takes away a little from all the hard work you put in at the gym.

·       Dependency on Painkillers

Unless you are suffering from acute pain, never take painkillers. Some of the most abused drugs in the world are prescription-only painkillers. They are highly addictive. The more regularly you take painkillers, the more dependent you grow on them. Regular use of painkillers causes long term heart and kidney damage. 

Natural Remedies for Soreness

There are some alternative remedies you can explore to relieve muscle soreness after a workout.

·       Take an Ice Cold Bath

Cold water is known to relax the muscles and relieve soreness. A 15-minute shower in cold water after a workout can do wonders.

·       Muscle-specific Massages

Massages focusing on specific muscle groups can greatly reduce the intensity of soreness. Get a body massage a day after an intense workout to minimize soreness.

·       Prevention

Always warm up properly before beginning a workout. This will reduce the chance of injury. After the workout, you should cool down and do some stretches. This loosens the muscles and relieves soreness. 

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