Want to learn how to heal muscles after a hike? It’s not unusual to experience sore or tired muscles after a day of hiking. In fact, there is a good chance you will feel some strain or soreness, even if you are a seasoned hiker. Fortunately, learning how to heal muscles after a hike is easy, and requires nothing more than making use of what you probably already have around the house.
- Take some aspirin. While a lot of over-the-counter medications can help to relieve pain, aspirin is one of the best anti-inflammatory products you can take for sore muscles. The aspirin works by blocking the production of prostaglandins, those pesky messengers that trigger your immune system to initiate the inflammation.
- Apply an ice pack. If your muscles are not just sore, but also strained, it may be a good idea to apply an ice pack for ten to fifteen minutes. The ice will help minimize the chances of swelling, and thus give the aspirin a chance to do its job. For some types of strains, you may need to alternate hot compresses with the ice pack every ten minutes, until you see that the swelling is under control, and you can move the muscle with relatively little pain.
- Grab the deep heating rubs. A number of ointments and creams today are made especially to help heal muscles after a hike or other intense physical workout. Many of these products contain capsicum, also known as cayenne. Capsicum is the element in peppers that produces heat, making it ideal when you want to soothe tired muscles with a little heat.
- Have a long soak in the tub. Immersing in a tub of hot water helps to ease the stress placed on your strained muscles. Even as little as fifteen minutes in the water can do a lot to help the muscles in your legs, back and arms begin relaxing, thus improving your chances of being able to get out of bed the next day.
- Get a massage. Nothing helps to relax sore muscles than a rub down by a professional masseuse. As your muscles are worked, you can almost feel the tension drain from your muscles, leaving you feeling relaxed and rested. To enhance the experience, use some scented massage oils that help your mind to relax as well, such as vanilla or lavender.
Tips and Warnings
While it is natural to expect a little soreness in your muscles after a hike, severe pain should not be treated using home remedies and over-the-counter medications. When the discomfort is intense, the best way to heal muscles after a hike is to see your doctor immediately. A healthcare professional can quickly determine if the discomfort is simple overuse of the muscles, or if a tear or sprain is also present, and initiate an appropriate course of treatment.