Sore muscles are the result of intense workouts the engage your muscles to the fullest. The soreness in the muscles consists of pain and discomfort followed by the inability to move properly, which is why muscle soreness is considered to be the biggest unpleasantness of working out. Many people believe that heat can help them alleviate muscle pain and discomfort so they follow heat therapy after an intense workout session. However, the effects of heat on sore muscles are not certain, which is why we thought it would be useful to have a closer look at how sore muscles react to heat.
The effects of heat on pain
Heat is known to have a soothing effect on non-inflammatory pains such as the pain you feel after stretching your body too hard. Some types of exercises can cause an increased exertion of your muscles, which can result in pain and discomfort commonly known as muscle soreness. What heat does to the achy muscles is it penetrates the tissue in depth and accelerates the repair of the damaged tissue. The blood vessels are dilated at the feeling of heat and the blood starts flowing at a higher speed, causing the muscles to feel less pain.
Heat also has a psychological effect because our body finds comfort in a warm place so it associates heat with safety and well-being. As your muscles start feeling the warmth, they automatically relax and the brain senses a feeling of safety that he associates with the absence of pain. This psychological effect contributes to the efficiency of heat in fighting muscle soreness.
How can you benefit from heat therapy?
You can easily enjoy the benefits of heat on your muscles right after working out if you head it to a sauna. Infrared saunas are starting to get more and more sought for by people who experience muscle pain after exercising particularly due to the benefits of infrared heat on sore muscles. The deep penetration of the infrared heat on the tissues guarantees that you will feel an immediate relief in the muscles as the heat will relax your body and will improve blood circulation.
Another excellent way to enjoy the soothing effect of heat on achy muscles is to dip into a hot tub right after coming home from the gym. The hot water combined with the bubbling water jets have the effects of a massage that relaxes your body and promotes a feeling of good. Hot tubs are among the most efficient forms of relaxation and this is mostly due to the soothing effect of the hot water.