Riixo, specialists in muscle recovery, share tips on how to use ice and compression more effectively to avoid delayed onset muscle soreness.
Ever woken up in the morning with stiff, sore legs that refuse to move? Or struggled to lift your arm to brush your hair? That feeling is known as, DOMS, ‘Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness’, muscle pain that starts the day after exercise and can last for a couple of days. It occurs as a result of small microscopic tears in the muscle fibres. Small tears trigger the body’s inflammatory response and muscles can feel swollen and sore as the body heals.
Inflammation is a normal, even desirable response to exercise, as it is part of the adaptation process but DOMS isn’t something you should experience after every session. Every athlete or every fitness level will experience DOMS, but if you are suffering DOMS after a lot of your training sessions then not only are you preventing yourself from getting stronger but it could indicate you need to review the intensity or type of training you are doing. Or introduce more rest days to give yourself time to recover.
DOMS is most common after ‘unaccustomed exercise’. You most likely had it when you first started exercising, after a break from training or when doing something that is harder than your usual training, like running a marathon or a long endurance swim or a tough workout.
DOMS isn’t harmful and it goes away after 2-3 days, but it can delay your return to training or make subsequent sessions less effective. Improving your post workout recovery strategy can help your muscles recover faster.
Muscle recovery specialists Riixo are dedicated to designing and manufacturing products that aid sports injury and performance. Riixo was founded by Cameron Johnston, a professional rugby player for Newcastle Falcons, who had been capped for Scotland and Great Britain 7’s. INCUS was developed after founder Chris Ruddock lost his hearing in one ear, Riixo was similarly born out of a need, “ On the 27th October 2007 my life changed. I broke my back in two places after getting spear-tackled during a game. At just 21, it was the end of my career as a professional athlete.”
“The next ten years included my own rehabilitation, securing two degrees — in Sports Science and Physiotherapy — working as a physio in UK health services, and joining the British Army. Since that October day, recovering from the trauma of my own injury has powered my dedication to helping people recover from their own injury battles.”
What Cameron spotted during his time peace-keeping with the United Nations in Sudan, was an opportunity to improve the tools that athletes use to speed up their muscle recovery, “I felt we could do better than having a choice between plastic bags of ice and having to spend £1000’s on bulky electrical equipment with no portability. I know that busy athletes lead busy lives. They need recovery kit that meets the demands of that schedule, that is quickly easy to use - but more importantly - that works. That’s where the idea of a 3-in-1 calf cuff came from.”
Ice and compression for muscle recovery
Ice and compression have been used in First Aid and medical settings even before they were applied to prevent DOMS in sport. Compression promotes better circulation which allows for the faster removal of metabolites from the blood. Research shows that using the right type of compression garment after exercise can result in increased muscle strength, muscle function, reduced soreness & DOMS. Ice helps by cooling the muscles reducing inflammation. Research shows using ice after exercise alleviates muscle soreness and minimises secondary tissue damage.
Timing is everything. The sooner you apply ice the quicker your body will recover. Applying ice immediately after high intensity exercise will speed up your recovery time and [improve your performance] the next day. Applying after 3 hours will still help your recovery but not as much. For the best results combine ice and compression as together they increase blood flow, speed up and deepen the muscle cooling.
Muscle recovery on the go
With busy lives and training any recovery product needs to be practical and easy to use. Riixo products are designed to start working the moment your exercise session stops, they enhance your recovery and prepare you to go again and are designed to be both effective and convenient. Riixo recovery cuffs aid muscle repair by integrating compression, heat or ice fully into a single item. You can freeze the whole cuff in a domestic freezer or heat it in the microwave. Each cuff comes with an insulated box so you can use them immediately after your exercise. Their seamless design applies equal pressure around the whole calf. You can read more of the scientific research supporting ice and compression on the Riixo blog.
DOMS and running technique
DOMS can make it self-seen in the data from INCUS |NOVA after a training session, stiff muscles can show in your take-off and landing data when running or in your body-roll when swimming. With DOMS affecting your technique you won’t be able to perform to your best in your next training session or race.
Recovering effectively after training sessions is an important part of preventing injury. Monitoring your technique, tracking your running impact through take-off and landing data and checking your body’s left/right balance with your INCUS|NOVA can also help in both injury prevention and rehabilitation – as this runner’s story of come-back from Achilles injury explains.
WIN the ultimate running package
Together with Riixo we have put together the ultimate prize for improving your running performance and reducing DOMS. An INCUS|NOVA, with run-strap, is paired with Riixo calf-cuffs and Riixo ice-ball, to help you monitor and develop your technique throughout your run training and recover faster afterwards. Reach your fitness goals faster with INCUS and Riixo.
Enter HERE for your chance to develop your running technique and recover faster with INCUS and Riixo.