The NY Times offers advice for sufferers of sore muscles, with some natural advice.

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backpack blower Arnica, Sports Massage, Foam Rolling, Ibuprofen, and more are the typical methods most people use to decrease post-exercise muscle soreness. For those of you who are active, you probably have some sort of ritual for post-exercise soreness. Now that the leaves are falling, many people will have the opportunity to experience sore muscles after raking and bagging all those leaves that are now falling. Ibuprofen, while a well-worn pain reliever, also has the dubious reputation of interfering with soft tissue repair, leaving other methods both safer and more desirable. Foam rolling works well before exercise and should not be done post-exercise since torn and damaged tissues, a byproduct of activity will have their healing interrupted by the foam roller. Sports Massage seems to have a minimal effect on post-exercise soreness, probably because it helps flush out the tissues as it improves circulation to the areas of activity. Read about the NY Times advice here

Q: What's the best way to relieve sore muscles?

I am a 56-year-old woman who exercises for at least an hour a day. I am sore a lot of the time. What is the best approach to reducing muscle soreness? I know about foam rollers, protein, ice baths

Asked by nlitinme A: Exercise could be described as Nietzschean. To make muscles fitter, you damage them slightly during workouts, prompting the fibers to repair themselves and become stronger. This process "is a good thing," said Thomas Swensen, a professor of exercise and sports science at Ithaca College in New York. "You want to stress the muscles. They adapt positively." But in the meantime, they ache and, unfortunately, few methods reliably relieve the soreness. The painkiller ibuprofen, for instance, has little effect on exercise-related pain, studies show, and may actually reduce the ability of muscles to repair themselves. Similarly, post-exercise ice baths chill muscles, as you would expect, but do not, most studies show, make them less tender. On the other hand, sports massage marginally reduces soreness, some studies suggest, although the overall effect is "too small to be clinically relevant," a systematic review of massage-related studies concluded in 2012. Ditto for arnica. A small study published in August in The European Journal of Sport Science found that runners who rubbed the substance onto their legs every four hours for three days after a punishing workout felt slightly less sore afterward than runners who did not. read more