I remember when I was younger, I would push myself; I ran hard, slept little and never felt a thing. Fast forward to the brink of 30, and I’m not as resilient as I once was. I love to be active and push myself, but I would be lying if I said I’m wasn’t sore quite often.
Between my workouts and lifting babies all day long, I end most nights with neck and upper back pain from sore muscles. Earlier this year, the pain started to get pretty bad, I felt like every day was a painful one. So, I started to analyze myself and make some changes in my routine to help with my muscle soreness.
Three Ways I Soothe My Sore Muscles
I should start this by mentioning, my neck and upper back pain is all from muscle soreness and tightness, not another underlying medical issue. So, these three things work well for me, but may not be the best thing for everyone.
Rest and Stretching
When I was having a lot of pain, I noted that I was working out, A LOT! Nearly every day and I wasn’t stretching enough. I was determined to lose a few pounds and really wanted to do whatever it took to do so. However, I wasn’t doing myself any good because I was burning myself out. I was tired and didn’t have the best form, which was setting me up for injury.
After those daily workouts I was still running around with the kids and carrying my two-year-old around, so it was just a bad combination, for me. I decided to back down on my workouts. I went from 5-6 days a week to 3-4. When I was really having a lot of pain, I took two weeks off completely to let my body rest and reset. Now, back at 3-4 days a week, I always listen to my body first. If I’m tired and sore, I may go for a gentle walk or take another rest day. I also always end each workout with at least 10 minutes of stretching, most days more. I also use my foam roller when I have extra time to release any tight spots.
Heat and Ice
A little heat or ice can go a long way. When I’m feeling really tight and sore, I will spend a little bit of time with the heating pad before going to bed. Not only does it relax my muscles, it always makes me sleepy and puts me to bed! (I just have to make sure I don’t actually fall asleep on that bad boy.) I also love to use ice; I find when my neck is really painful or I have a bad headache, a little ice on my neck does wonders!
Let’s talk about ice. Ice really helps ease my pain, but it can get messy, especially if I try to use it relaxing before bed. My mom has sore knees and was telling me how much she liked using Biofreeze®. Since mom typically has good ideas, I figured it was worth the try. Biofreeze® Professional uses United States Pharmacopeia (USP) grade menthol to act like ice on your pain, without the mess. So, I can put this on my neck and upper back before going to bed, without having to worry about giving myself an ice burn if I fall asleep, or a wet pillow. I tried the gel formula first and put way too much on. It has a little burn to it, which took some getting used to, but after a few minutes I started to feel some of my soreness and pain go away. I also tried the roll on formula, which I ended up liking more, because it puts less product on and is less messy. It also has a slight menthol scent at first, but quickly vanishes. Aside from totally relaxing my sore muscles, Biofreeze® Professional is also free of parabens and propylene glycol, and is non-systemic, non-narcotic, and contains no NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), salicylates or addictive substances, which are all positives for me! Biofreeze® retail version can be found at your favorite retailer. Biofreeze® Professional must be purchased through your hands-on healthcare professional. I truly feel a benefit from Biofreeze® and highly recommend it, you can learn more about here.
Since making a few adjustments in my routine, I don’t have nearly as much neck and back soreness, as I was having earlier this year. Knowing how to soothe my soreness with a little rest, stretching and Biofreeze® Professional has helped me stay on top of my fitness game.
What do you do for your sore muscles?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.