It’s normal to feel achy and stiff after a hard run – especially if you’ve pushed yourself to the limit.
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) usually comes on the following day and will be familiar to anyone who has ever pushed themselves physically. A day or two later you should feel fine. In the mean time, look after yourself with good food and plenty of fluids.
If beyond that you’re noticing your muscles feeling tight then a massage can help. At this stage massage can help lengthen shortened muscles and break up any of the congestion which makes muscles feel hard.
If you’re suffering other problems such as back, hip, neck or shoulder pain, massage can help too.
Muscle Injury (Sprain)
If you have pain, redness, swelling and heat which came on immediately these are the symptoms of a muscle injury. You should immediately:
Rest the affected part
Apply ice to cool the area (not directly on the skin)
Bandage the area to help limit swelling and
Elevate the limb
Seek medical advice if you are unsure.
When these symptoms have gone you can gently return to stretching and exercise, being careful not to cause more damage to the weakened area.
As scar tissue forms, use massage to help it’s fibres line up with the muscle fibres. Scar tissue is not as strong or flexible as the original muscle.