Muscle soreness after heavy lifting can be very uncomfortable. Going down stairs, sitting down, and lifting up your arms can make you cringe and rethink moving. Among exercise professionals this soreness is known as delayed onset muscle soreness. It begins within 12 hours after training and lasts up to 72 hours. With increased training the resistance to muscle soreness improves. Recovery is as much a part or your training as lifting is.
Delayed onset muscle soreness it thought to result from micro tears occurring in the muscle cells during repetitive contraction. An inflammatory process brings as the body tears down and recycles the damaged proteins. The muscles are temporarily weaker, but once repaired the muscle cells are stronger.
Recently a friend of mine who is an emergency room nurse, told me that a new lifter, unaccustomed to this type of achy muscle soreness came into the emergency room demanding treatment. After hearing that he had just started back at the gym she knew it was nothing serious. A lifter herself, this nurse assured him that his achy muscles were normal after working so hard out of the ordinary. She recommended he take an Epsom salt bath and sent him on his way.
Calcium is released in the muscle cell when an electric impulse from the brain is received at the neuromuscular junction. With repeated contraction, it is theorized that the calcium that is released is not cleared from the cell. As a result muscles will feel tight and as though they are in a perpetual state of contraction.
The above diagram shows the release of calcium in the muscle as a neural impulse is received.
Epsom salts are one of the best recovery tools for reduce muscle inflammation and preventing stiffness in the days following training. As a plus, Epsom salts increase blood levels of magnesium and are great for reducing bloating and water retention. Koinig et al, found that knee surgery patients who were administered magnesium, during and after surgery used fewer pain medications.
Epsom salts are composed of magnesium sulfate, which is absorbed through the skin. Epsom salts have been found to increase blood magnesium levels faster than oral supplements. Athletes tend to have higher magnesium needs than the general population. There is much higher turnover in the body due to more metabolic reactions taking place. The current recommendation for Epsom salts is 300-400g, 2-3 times per week for 10-20 minutes after heavy or high volume training.
Greenfield, B. 26 Top Ways To Recover From Workouts and Injuries with Lightning Speed.
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