Tag Archives: KT tape

5 Ways to Soothe Sore Muscles Naturally

Being a runner and one who enjoys strength training, sore muscles are bound to happen.   A speed work session at the track, heavy weight lifting at the gym, or just over doing it, can all cause muscle soreness.  Lactic acid builds up in the muscles, which is normal.  This can aggravate your muscles and cause pain, soreness, and stiffness.

There is also delayed onset muscle soreness know as DOMS.  This soreness develops 12-24 hours after exercise.  This may be due to microscopic tears to muscle tissue.  Inflammation and swelling can also occur.

I always like to find natural ways to relieve pain or discomfort versus taking any type of pain reliever.

I’d like to share 5 natural ways to relieve sore, tender, or stiff muscles!

  1. Tiger Balm:  I found this a few years ago at the grocery store.  Tiger Balm has been used for nearly 100 years and is sold throughout the world!  The smell reminds me of vick’s vapor rub.  It has herbal ingredients and provides heat to the muscle, which I find soothing.  I’ve used it on my legs, neck, and back.  My husband and kids have used it as well.
  2. Arnicare Cream:  Arnica is a natural, homeopathic medicine.  It “works naturally with your body”.  Homeopathic medicines have been used for more than 200 years.  It states that you can use it before or after exercise, but I’ve only used it after.  It comes in a gel, cream, or ointment.  I’ve used the gel before, but I prefer the cream.  The cream seems to absorb faster and has no odor, which is nice.
  3. CryoMax reusable cold pack:  I bought this years ago when I had a sore hip.  It’s been in the freezer ever since and has gotten plenty of use!  This cold pack is very durable.  I like how it comes with a support wrap, so it stays in place and conforms to your body.  I’ve heard some say ice therapy is “nature’s ibuprofen”.
  4. Compression Socks:  Nothing new here.  Compression socks are all over social media.  I’m not sure if wearing compression socks offers any performance benefits, but I believe they do help with recovery and helps reduce muscle soreness.  Last week was the highest mileage running week I’ve ever had.  I was sure to wear compression socks after each of my runs and my legs felt fresh and less sore (I slept with them on too). I purchased these socks off Amazon and love them.  If you decide to try compression socks, Berkeley Wellness advises to “avoid socks with high compression or going above the knee“.
  5. Kinesiology tape:  KT tape is an elastic sports tape that is light weight and comfortable to wear.  It’s “designed to relieve pain“.  It can be used on your knee, shoulder, back, or just about anywhere.  KT tape provides support without restricting range of motion and also reduces pressure to tissue and helps lessen pain.  It is important to apply it correctly!
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Stretching and foam rolling are always good options as well.  Being physically active, you’ll probably deal with muscle soreness, aches and pains at some point.  Give these a try and help soothe those muscles!

How do you deal muscle soreness or stiffness?

Any tips to share?


Current Running Essentials

I’ve been running for about 22 years!  My first marathon, Columbus Marathon, was almost 14 years ago.  I actually ran my first half-marathon as part of training for the Columbus Marathon.  My true love for running began after those races.

Running is a fairly low maintenance sport.  Of course, it can get pretty pricey if you buy every fancy gadget, gear, supplement, etc. that is available.  I like to stick with the basics!  Here are my current favorite running essentials:

Saucony Ride 9Saucony is my favorite running shoe brand.  At my very first visit to a running shoe store, I was fitted in Saucony’s.  Maybe that’s why I love them!   I did wear the Nike Vomero model for a while, but eventually switched back to my Saucony’s.  I prefer a neutral running shoe and I have a wide foot.  These fit great and never disappoint!

Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS watch:  I never go for a run without my Garmin.  I need to know my distance!  Pace and time are important facts to know as well.  I realize it’s beneficial to run without a watch sometimes, but I never go without it.  My first Garmin watch was huge!  This model is the perfect size.  It doesn’t have too many bells and whistles and is easy to use, which is why I like it so much.  It keeps time, distance, pace, calories burned (which I pay no attention to), mile splits, history and alerts you when you hit a record time.  It’s reasonably priced and is available in cute colors as well.

Nike DayBreak Running Hat:  I don’t remember the last time I ran outside without my hat.  It keeps the sun out of my eyes, as well as rain.  Hot or cold, I need my hat.  I have several other hats, but this one is my favorite.  It’s light, soft, and very comfortable.  As you can see in this picture, it is pretty worn out!  This particular hat may no longer be available because I’m having a hard time finding it.

Nike Vest: This Nike running vest is very light weight and water resistant.  I usually wear it during runs in 40 degrees or below.  It has pockets which come in handy for my car key and for my phone when listening to music or a podcast during long runs.  I also like to wear it casually too.  I love it!

Kinesiology Tape:  KT tape is “an elastic sports and fitness tape designed for muscle, ligament and tendon pain relief and support”(KT tape website).  I first used kinesiology tape last year when I experienced knee pain, but only occasionally.  After being diagnosed with left kneecap tracking disorder a few months ago, I have been using it for every run and workout.  It really does give support and helps stabilize my kneecap.  There are many you tube videos you can watch to learn how to apply the tape.  I was always concerned that I might be taping it incorrectly, so I asked my physical therapist to show me how to use it properly.  I have tried several different brands and I could definitely see a difference in quality between brands.  Maybe in a future post I can review the different brands I have tried.  Currently, I am using Curad Performance Series and it is doing it’s job!

Training Journal:  This year I purchased the Believe Training Journal.  It’s a year long training log that allows you to track your runs and workouts and also has a weekly focus section.  There is plenty of space for notes and it also offers advice and motivation.   I like it, but I will probably go back to the Runner’s World training log that I usually get for free with my magazine subscription. (yes I still get the actual magazine in the mail!)  While I appreciate the extra inspiration and training tips, I really don’t use a training log for that purpose.  I prefer a basic log to track my workouts.

Finally, I must include what I have after every morning run, a cup of coffee and a sweet potato topped with sunflower seed butter.  This combo is so delicious.  I don’t think I will ever get sick of it.  I’ve been eating it for years…….


Do you have any running essentials?

Have you splurged on any running gear?