Understanding and How to Choose Muscle Lotion

January 21, 2014

Understanding and How to Choose Muscle Lotion
Table of Contents

Whenever you're an active fitness enthusiast, sore muscles are bound to come with the territory. While stretching can help prevent an abundance of achy muscles after exercise, sometimes taking every step to prevent soreness just isn't enough. That's why having sore muscle lotion can be essential after you've rigorously worked out. What this lotion does is penetrate through your skin and alleviate any stiffness or soreness you may have in your muscles, whether it be for your arms, legs or shoulders. This can be applied right after you've worked out to even a day or two after to help ease any discomfort you may be feeling. If you're curious about what muscle lotion does and where you should apply it, this guide will help you understand the ins and outs.

    What is muscle lotion?

    Muscle lotion is a type of relief ointment that you can apply to areas that have soreness anywhere on your body. This lotion is usually comprised of a combination of menthol, camphor, ammonium salicylate and a mixture of methyl and ethyl esters of salicylic acid. It works by reducing inflammation and causes counter-irritation in the area where you applied the lotion, which helps to soothe pain in underlying tissues. The salicylates are derivatives of aspirin which have an anti-inflammatory effect. The camphor, methyl salicylate, and ethyl salicylate are also counter-irritants that can cause a sensation of heat to be produced. The menthol causes the blood vessels on the surface of the skin to widen, causing a sensation of coldness leading to a reduction in pain. All of these combine to make a muscle soreness lotion that will help treat any aching tenderness you may have.

    What is muscle lotion used for?

    Applying this lotion can be used to relieve any type of muscular pain such as:

    • Muscle stiffness
    • Sprains, strains, sports injuries
    • Tennis elbow
    • Inflamed muscles, tendons or ligaments that are causing pain and stiffness
    • Lower back pain
    • Sciatia
    • Bruising

    How do you use muscle lotion?

    Adults and children over the age of 12 can sprinkle a few drops of lotion into the hand or onto a washcloth and smooth or massage gently into the painful area. You can use the lotion up to three times a day, however if your symptoms are starting to improve, than you can decrease. Make sure to wash your hands after you apply the lotion so you won't irritate any sensitive areas like your eyes with the lotion. Also, don't cover the area that's been treated for a short time -- you're going to want to let it be absorbed into the skin. If the soreness continues for more than 3 days, talk to your doctor.

    Which muscle lotion is right for you

    Depending on the type of soreness that you have can vary what type of product you may need to battle any stiff muscles. Using something like Biofreeze is medication-strength cream but without the prescription or the medicated small. This contains menthol, green tea and lemon balm so it can help soothe muscles. Icy Hot is another type of muscle lotion which stimulates your skin and makes it turn red which that means that it's affecting the area you've applied it to. With hot and cool sensations, this will feel like a great relief. Another soothing lotion, which can be used for coughing, is Vicks Vapo-Rub. With its pleasant, familiar scent it’s a favorite house-hold item.While it is mostly treated for coughs, it can also relieve tension from tired and sore muscles.

Sore muscles can be one of the worst things to get in the way of another day's work out. With muscle lotion, having to worry about another achy muscle is a thing of the past. Just make sure to apply it whenever you think you'll need it. Once it's applied, you'll be on the way to another happy, healthy work out.

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