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Muscle soreness – when the workout pays off


IBS Publishing Team

The word sore muscles is familiar to everyone. The name alone makes the hairs on the back of many people’s necks stand up and thoughts of aching body parts quickly rush in. But is there even a cure for it?

Every athlete knows the following feeling. The pain the next day after an intense sports session. The muscles are weak and every step costs an effort. The diagnosis is clear: sore muscles. But can it be prevented? And how does it disappear again?

What is muscle soreness and where does it come from?

Muscle soreness is basically nothing more than a micro-injury to the muscle. The muscle consists of various contracting elements that contract during movement. If there is an (unplanned) misuse or overload, these can tear and cause damage to the muscle, resulting in muscle soreness.


As mentioned earlier, unaccustomed athletic stress is the main cause of muscle soreness. An example of this is the practice of a new sport, which involves the use of muscle groups that were previously spared.

Another reason can be the overload of the muscles. Especially during strength training, it is not uncommon for the muscle to receive a suprathreshold stimulus. Particularly intense or decelerating, cushioning, stopping movements can lead to subsequent damage.


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What can be done about this?

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Normally, a sore muscle lasts on average 48 to 72 hours. During this time, it is recommended to give the aching muscle a little rest. Warm showers, massages and sauna sessions have a positive effect on regeneration and promote blood circulation. If you find it difficult to keep your legs still for so long, you can start with light exercises such as a leisurely walk or mobilization exercises.

Since muscle is composed of four essential amino acids, diet also plays an important component in curing the nagging pain in the muscles. Taking in enough water is just one measure. In addition, there is the intake of vitamins. Likewise, nuts and certain types of fish, as suppliers of omega-3 fatty acids, help prevent sore muscles.


Whether during a new training exercise or hiking: A sore muscle is simply part of it from time to time and cannot even be avoided by sufficient stretching. It is important to give the muscle rest afterwards and to see that it does not come to a worse injury.


With the right regeneration, this should then quickly disappear again.


Did you know that you can also get sore muscles from laughing?  When you laugh, you tense your diaphragm, which causes extreme muscle tension. So there is not one muscle that is more susceptible than the other.

Source Cover Image: Pexels / viktor freitas