Muscle spasms, why do they occur and how can you avoid them? Massage Products
Published: 13 May, 2020 - Updated: 16 December, 2020 | 3'
Starting to exercise regularly can be a challenge, especially if you have never exercised regularly before.
Making this decision leads directly to a change in our daily routine, so that we take time to exercise and set goals that we want to achieve.
Normally, starting to exercise leads to the appearance of muscle aches, commonly known as muscle spasms. This situation, in which the muscle adapts to the new routine, can be uncomfortable and, in turn, make it more difficult for us to maintain this practice.
Although this mild pain is a natural result of any intense physical activity and can occur even if we are used to practicing sports, it is usually more frequent in the initial stages.
What are muscle spasms?
The muscle soreness, or late onset muscle pain (DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is the muscular discomfort that appears after the practice of a physical activity of a certain intensity to which our body is not accustomed.
Typically, symptoms are muscle tension, loss of strength or sensation in the area, and reduced range of movement due to pain and stiffness when you move.
Why do muscle spasms occur?
The spasm and delayed pain occurs when the muscle makes an exaggerated contraction or stretching.
Mild muscle strain injury creates microscopic damage to the muscle fibers, which, along with the inflammation that accompanies the tears, causes the pain. This is an indication that the muscles are adapting to the new exercise routine.
How long does a muscle spasm last?
Normally this pain or discomfort appears from 12-24 hours after the activity and the intensity peak is usually after 48 hours.
Depending on the intensity of the pain, it can last from 3 to 7 days.
What can be done to avoid muscle spasms?
No one who exercises is immune to the onset of muscle spasms, from beginners to top athletes to people who have stopped playing sports for a while and returned to their routine.
Regardless of your physical condition, muscle spasms can occur when you increase the intensity of your training in too quickly or change your exercise routine.
In order to reduce the risk of muscle fatigue and, of course, the risk of possible injury, it is important to perform a warm-up that includes joint mobility. When the exercise is over, it is essential to stretch, to avoid the appearance of injuries and stiffness. Muscle relaxation massages can also be done after training. This type of massage promotes muscle recovery and restores flexibility to the muscle tissue, as well as improving circulation with gentle movements.
How to relieve your aches and pains
Although the passing of days will be what makes the muscle spasms disappear completely, some measures can be taken to help alleviate the feeling of discomfort and muscle stiffness.
The first thing would be to massage the muscle areas that present discomfort. To do this, we can help with sports massage oils that include beneficial natural ingredients for the recovery of muscles.
For this purpose, we can perform a light massage with MARNYS® Artohelp Sports Massage that relieves the feeling of muscle fatigue and helps an athlete to recover. It is made with Arnica and Harpagophyte, which have comforting and relaxing properties for the skin and help prepare muscles and ligaments, both before training and for their recovery afterwards, avoiding possible injuries and having an immediate refreshing effect.
Almond and Jojoba oil provide a pleasant texture that facilitates easy use of the product without it being slippery. Also with Menthol, Wintergreen and Camphor which have soothing properties for the skin.
If we also notice that our legs are especially tired, we can use MARNYS® Arnica Oil. It contains Arnica, Rosemary and Olive Oil that provide an immediate muscle comfort and relief sensation that promotes the activation of skin microcirculation and contributes to the repair and toning of the skin and to alleviate the feeling of tired legs.
Both are formulated to provide a relaxing effect on the muscle and a feeling of well-being, as well as to recover the tone and elasticity of the skin.
Finally, we can combine these massages with gentle and progressive stretching during the days when the muscle spasms last.
Exercising and working out with muscle soreness
In the face of the pain and discomfort caused by muscle spasms, the idea of more exercise is often not very appealing. The most normal thing is that we want to rest and avoid any movement. But staying inactive has the opposite effect, it will not alleviate pain or stiffness, but can make the situation worse.
If the pain from the muscle spasms is severe, then ideally you should rest a full day before returning to physical activity. If the discomfort is mild, do not skip the training and preferably keep the muscles active, even if you are working at a low intensity.
G.Serratrice. Les crampes musculaires essentielles. Primary muscle cramps. Revue Neurologique. Volume 164, Issue 5, Pages 416-425. May, 2008.
Richardson, K. What Is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and What Can You Do About It?. Healthline. Jun, 2019.