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Professional athletes spend countless hours training to be the best in their sports. But if you're a weekend warrior getting back into the game after some time away, Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine experts have some tips to prevent and treat muscle soreness.
Jason Howland has more in this Mayo Clinic Minute.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (1:00) is in the downloads. Read the script.
If it's been awhile since you jumped on the court or went for a long run, Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine experts say to avoid muscle soreness, take it slow.
"I think a lot of the times people get sore if you ramp into it too soon," says Maggie Bryant, a Mayo Clinic physical therapist.
Bryant says that might mean playing for 10 minutes instead of two hours at first, or walking 1 mile instead of running 5. She says other reasons for soreness can be lack of a proper warmup or using incorrect equipment. And if you are sore the next day, she says the best medicine often is remaining active.
"Your muscles are sore the next day," says Bryant. "Actually, going for a walk, doing some light stretching — that can be really beneficial to reduce some soreness."
She says ice should be used for acute pain that might include swelling or inflammation. And heat treatment, which improves blood flow to the area, is best for muscle strains. And, if you have joint pain or soreness ...
"... and it gets worse with activity, then I would take a few days' rest," Bryant says.