There is always a part of the exercise that is overlooked most often. It’s the most painful and yet the most comforting and important part of working out. Whether going for an intense lift session or a hard run, it’s likely everyone to feel the pain due to exertion associated with muscle soreness, after working out. The researchers call it the DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness, this technique is the main reason why many of us apply various techniques we’ve been told for speedy muscle recovery.
We all must have seen these tactics such as foam roller to ice baths and compression tights. The ice bath has most indigenously been the most adapted and effected tactic used by the athletes. But after looking at almost every technique and tactic scientifically. None of them are the miracle products we often think they are.
To understand the effects of the damage or the soreness in the first place has to do with what’s been happening inside the muscle during a workout. Due to extra exertion, the muscles generate damages in small quantities inside muscle fibers. Many physical therapists, doctors, and athletes can measure something we call force production and test themselves as well. Looking at the power creation during an exercise versus after 24 to 48 hours gives a brief look at the amount of muscle damage. The lower the post-exercise power production compared with before the workout and the more the muscles are harmed.
Most scientists say that all every muscle causes some pain but both of them are not linearly related to each other. Mostly the level of pain one suffers after a workout doesn’t always correlate with the amount of damage that has been effected on the muscle. This is because the pain is a perceived measurement that is perceived by the muscle damage and is highly subjective. This could vary from person to person where one feels more pain than others, on the same level of muscle damage.
But it’s the pain, not the actual muscle damage that typically drives people to use these muscle recovery tools. There probably wouldn’t be this plethora of recovery mechanisms and tools if the pain factor didn’t exist. Still, the physicians and therapists say, “pain matters.” Regardless of how damaged their muscle fibers are, people who are in pain aren’t going to be particularly inclined to exercise as intensely until the pain goes away.
There are a variety of products out there for customers who feel satisfied after using all those recovery tools. But do these products assure the effects are far less than common?
So we conducted a few pieces of research with the help of doctors and body physicians to find out whether or not their recovery products or the tools workout or not.
Bending or Stretching
Mostly in our daily life we practice stretching as part of our exercises, but the one that is a part of our exercise in the form of static stretching. Researchers have found out that this practice called static stretching isn’t that helpful as much as we think for warming up our muscles. They introduce it as the dynamic stretching that helps in recovering the muscles. This involves the motion of more than a single set of muscles at a time. That increases the blood flow and warms up the muscles which are a crucial part for every performing athlete.
Static stretching isn’t that helpful in that area. But that doesn't mean static stretching isn’t that important as it is a critical part of performing athletics such as running, weightlifting, and routine activities but not that effective when it comes to muscle recovery.
So, stretching is an important and crucial part, but dynamic stretching over static stretching. So wear your favorite workout apparel and start stretching.
Cold Bathing/ Ice Bathing:
In the London Marathon 2003, Paula Radcliff took a ten minutes ice bath before she made the world record. Later in a press conference, she introduced this act as a recovery ritual. After that, athletes from around the world started using ice bathing. Now athletes around the world in every sport, swear by this method.
But the real question is, is it actually effective?
Despite the most popular and the most studied muscle recovery method, the main effect of ice bathing is to reduce the pain and swelling that comes along with muscle damage. Several decent studies suggest that reduction is essential for the muscles to recover and regain their strength.
Some studies show that it does affect muscle pain while some suggest that it doesn’t. On the whole, it does seem to provide some reduction in pain. But the amount of effect it has, it might be any better than the placebo effect.
In an experiment by the researchers, two groups of recreationally active men were asked to take an ice bath and the placebo or recovery oil bath. Both groups had the same effect and the same results except for the placebo group had the additional skin cleanser effect.
Many scientists suggest that ice bathing might be having some extra benefits after a workout than the placebo effect. It can be optional for those who don’t want to recover quickly or it doesn’t affect them in the first place. For example, if you have an intense training workout or competition in upcoming days then it's not recommended to go for an ice bath. For researchers the dilemma is more clear: Reduced muscle temperature performs less than warmer muscle temperature.
If that’s the case and your immune and routine work can handle the cold then do it just for the placebo effect. After the sports competition or the championship game might be a good time to test out the cold.
Whole Body Cryotherapy:
In this technique, a person enters the chamber with sub-zero temperature in which a person stays no more than a few minutes, and is more like a high tech ice bath. The only difference is how the body adapts with cold temperatures. The water can retain the cold temperature for a longer period than air. This also means that it's better in allowing one to cool you down.
A recent study in comparison to both ice bathing and whole body cryotherapy, the scientists say that a chilly dip in the cold water reduces blood flow and muscle tissue temperature better than cryotherapy. What effect it holds over your body is a separate thing.
Exercise Foam Rollers:
Foam rollers are a changeless fixture in numerous competitors' preparation regimens. It's intended to work by prompting self-myofascial discharge, which is the point at which the layer of tissue that sits outwardly of a muscle extricates up. Now and again, muscle irritation can be welcomed on by fixed sash, and moving forward it is intended to loosen up that grasp. This is thought to improve the scope of movement around a joint and decrease DOMS.
Surprisingly, regardless of whether this improves athletic execution or muscle recuperation isn't clear. Most of the examinations done on foam rollers don't show any positive advantages on execution during the recuperation procedure.
Recently, foam rollers have vibrating segments, which are intended to consolidate the weight and advantage of massage with the assistance of vibration innovation. Later in research was found that the vibrating foam rollers participants increased tolerance against pain. Others, however, have discovered no distinction among vibrating and non-vibrating foam rollers. Notwithstanding, vibrating foam rollers have just turned out in recent years and there couldn't be sufficient study done at this point, to know for sure.
Pain Relieving Drugs:
There's substantially more proof on drugs than other recuperation methods, yet it's not positive: This should be a final resort. While prescriptions like non-steroidal calming drugs like headache medicine and ibuprofen function admirably at reducing the pain. Numerous ongoing examinations show that they extraordinarily repress the characteristic recuperation procedure of muscles. A portion of this research proposes that NSAIDs restrain the expansion of gathering of muscle foundational microorganisms known as satellite cells, which play a key job in muscle fixtures. So if you can deal with the pain, it's presumably best to simply tough it out. However, there's a spot for them: If there is an intolerable amount of pain the advantages likely overweigh the expenses, yet realizing it might hinder the recovery procedure.
Compression Tights/Armor workout Leggings:
Pressure gear for competitors is a multi-billion dollar industry, and wearing compression leggings has become very nearly a superficial point of interest: If you need them, you should do some extraordinary exercises. Be that as it may, as other researches seesaw about whether it effectively helps muscle recovery or not.
Pressure tights have customarily been utilized for clinical purposes to help individuals with circulatory conditions. At the point when worn, they make a weight slope by having the degree of pressure decline from the distal (or uttermost away from the body) some portion of an individual's leg or arm to the proximal (inner part). This builds blood, moves through the veins, and diminishes expansion. Studies show they work for the two individuals with flow issues just as healthy subjects.
For athletes, the thought is that the expanded blood stream additionally builds the leeway of blood lactate and creatine kinase, the two of which get discharged from muscles and into the circulatory system after incredible exercise and is a sign of muscle soreness or harm.
You may be in an ideal situation attempting other recuperation strategies, however, if you do decide to wear pressure garments, the best time to do so is after exercise, not during it. A couple of studies additionally recommend that the more you wear them, the better. Also, choose full-length tights or ones that spread the lower legs, instead of shorts.
Just like every other recovery method, there are a lot of mixed opinions over massages. However, there are a variety of ways that affect that work to diminish the strain of the muscle's sash. Massages are generally done by experts, to be specific physical therapists, who know their job well about how to perform it. Regardless of whether it is useful, most people don't attain the energy for the massage. In any case, there are some clinical advantages of massage in a recovery process.
The Final Yet the Most Important Part of Recovery: Sleep
Mostly sportsmen and athletes and even the daily exercisers don’t get enough of this part of the recovery process. We all know the importance of eight hours of sleep. However, a full-time athlete needs an hour or two extra for proper growth and recovery of muscle tissues. Recently, there has been more research on the effects of sleep and muscle recovery. While many researchers haven’t pieced apart the exact mechanism through which one can recover through a certain angle. Furthermore, on the off chance that you are experiencing all the difficulty and spending the cash on these other activities for muscle recovery, why not try something that’s fun too.