Tips For A Sweet Recovery

Elite Feet August Special

Sweet Kicks Tips For Recovery Success – By Coach Kiwi

I am hoping everyone pulled up well after round 1, and with no serious injuries.  For many of us, myself included, there was some pain one or two days after the game.  Some may enjoy that feeling of a little bit of pain for the fun gained in running out with teammates that day.  However, some muscle soreness isn't simply due to lactic acid buildup — it's a sign you straight-up sent your muscles into shock.


The significant muscle soreness that typically occurs hours after matches or a hard training session (usually 24 to 48 hours after), is what is commonly referred to as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS for short.   This condition has little, if anything, to do with lactic acidosis. Instead, it is likely to be the result of small tears in the muscle fibers that combine with an inflammatory process to result in pain.

Keep reading, don’t stop there, thinking this is a valid reason to give up all this potential fun in running about and kicking the footy.

You'll most likely notice this type of soreness after more challenging or unfamiliar exercise.  It could be your first training session or first match as the intensity increases. Examples of such activities are kicking a ball or crouching to pick up ground balls, that involve muscle and tendon lengthening while a player simultaneously tries to contract the muscle.

So what are the symptoms of DOMS?  Muscle soreness, lack of strength, decrease in the speed of muscle contractibility, and muscle stiffness are all symptoms of DOMS.  Mostly DOMS can decrease the speed of muscle contractibility by 5-8% and change joint mobility.

Probably not the kind of statistic you were after, so keep reading and find some ways you can overcome this.  If your body needs a little more help with recovery, try one of these tips to get rid of sore muscles:

1/   Eat More Mushrooms – yes I hear the vegetarians rejoicing!

Numerous sources have identified mushrooms as possessing anti-inflammatory properties that may be effective in reducing some muscle soreness.  Mushrooms' anti-inflammatory compounds called polysaccharides work to reduce the inflammation-causing cytokine compounds.


2/   Do An Active Cooldown

Spend some time cooling down.  We spend time on this at my clinics and I can’t speak highly of its value in preparing you for your next session.  It makes your muscles recovery-ready.  Going through a regular stretching routine will help to make it a habit, and a good way to ensure you don’t forget any particular area.  For the shape of our female hips, it is very important we stretch through our hip flexors and IT band areas every time we train or play.

3/   Get A Massage

It may seem obvious, but massages really do help get rid of sore muscles. A post-exercise massage significantly reduces pain by reducing the release of cytokines, compounds that cause inflammation in the body. At the same time, massage stimulates mitochondria in cells, promoting cell function and repair.  Plus, who doesn’t feel better after a massage?


4/    Use A Heat Pack or Ice Pack

The idea behind heating pads is that they increase blood flow as it opens up your blood vessels, and is thought that it could help flush some of the byproducts or inflammation related to muscle soreness, out of the muscles.

Adding an ice pack to the mix may be the perfect combination.  Alternating cold and heat may be most beneficial following exercise-induced muscle soreness. Using both heat and ice prevents elastic tissue damage.  Alternating icing and heating will reduce muscle pain.  Applying ice for twenty minutes followed by heat for twenty minutes is be an effective regimen used by many athletes.

5/   Use A Foam Roller 

Foam rolling on sore muscles can make grown men cry, and we know women are a whole lot tougher, plus it seriously helps repair your muscles. It is possible that foam rolling may decrease edema (or swelling in the muscles) and enhance tissue healing.   20 minutes of foam rolling on a high-density foam roller immediately following exercise and 24 hours after may reduce muscle tenderness and decrease the impact on one's dynamic movements.

Now If the pain last longer than a couple of days, increases in pain, may have evolved from a certain moment of the match rather than the match as a whole, or makes movement particularly difficult, then perhaps seek some medical attention.  It may be more than just DOMS, and I’m no doctor.

DOMS will pass in a couple of days, and you will be feeling super again and ready for the next session and the next match.  Look out for me, and let’s share a ‘recovery’ drink at the bar.

Tips For A Sweet Recovery
Sweet Kicks Football Academy
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