Is there anything I can do to get rid of (or even avoid) soreness after a workout?

You can relieve the symptoms of “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness,” or DOMS, but nothing will completely prevent the soreness you feel a day or two after a workout. Here are some strategies that might help prevent or alleviate your soreness:

  • Stretching, especially static or stationary stretching, the parts of your body that are sore can help ease sore muscles and joints.
  • A light cycle or jog as a cool-down or on the day after a workout will increase blood flow to your muscles and may help relax fatigued muscles.
  • Foam rolling during a cool-down or on rest days also can help loosen tight muscles, which might be causing your soreness.
  • Recovery drinks such as chocolate milk that contain carbohydrates and protein can help with muscle soreness and fatigue after prolonged exercise.
  • Anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen or naproxen can help reduce inflammation caused by muscle damage, which may also reduce pain. Taking anti-inflammatories can speed up recovery, but you should limit their use to less than one week. But if you’re using any other medications or dietary supplements, check with your doctor to make sure you aren’t risking any interactions.

If your soreness or pain lasts longer than a week, you should see a healthcare provider because it might be a sign of something more severe.