Stiff muscles. Every athlete has them once in a while and that's no fun. Whether you suffer from neck pain caused by an unexpected move or a pulled groin during a match, you want to get rid of the nasty and painful feeling as soon as possible. That's why it's important to know how you can recover faster from these stiff muscles. The next time you're suffering from your muscles, you can use these four treatment methods to recover as fast as possible:
When you load a muscle, the fibers in the muscle tissue are damaged. This may result into stiffness. By directly tackling it with cold, you'll combat the first signs of this stiffness. Preferably do this as soon as the stiffness starts acting. Get a cooling pack and hold it 20 to 30 minutes against the affected muscles.
An other way to reduce the discomfort of stiff muscles, is to apply pressure on the muscles that are suffering. By applying a static or elastic bandage, or with the special compression clothing, you'll apply extra compression and prevent more obstruction. Active compression with a pumping function offers extra advantages because it helps removing redundant fluids from your body and increasing the flow of oxygen-rich blood, which is in turn important for muscle recovery.
Even though you should not apply heat directly after an injury or muscle strain, it does definitely help to relieve the burden. You can apply therapeutic heat with for instance heat pads, a warm bath or hot blankets, but even a sports cream like Flexpower is very effective with muscle strain. The released heat promotes the blood flow, which speeds up the recovery process. Besides, you could alternate between hot and cold therapy to relieve stiff muscles.
A sports massage helps to loosen stiff muscles and increases, just like heat therapy, the blood circulation to recover the damaged tissue. Applying pressure on the muscle tissue also helps to drain surplus fluid waste from the body. Just like heat therapy, you should not be directly massaged after getting injured or stiff muscles, because the affected area is probably too sensitive. For the massage, you could also use the previously mentioned sports cream to increase the effect even more.