I'm so SORE! Tips to Soothe Muscle Soreness After Dancing

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Sore muscles - it’s the bane of every dancer’s existence. And the thing with muscle soreness is that it never really goes away for good. That’s why when the pain strikes, you gotta take action (in this case, take a well-needed break and do something about the pain). 

Even if you dance for fun, you’re still vulnerable to occasional foot pain from dancing all night. That goes, even when you’re wearing your most comfortable Yami dance shoes, the pain is rooted in repeated muscle usage and fatigued ligaments. If the muscle soreness gets so bad that you can’t lift your legs without wincing or you’re experiencing lower back pain, take it as a sign that you need to take it easy. 

Is it a normal muscle soreness or an injury?

Here’s a surprise, not all aches are created equally. There are two types of muscle soreness for dancers: delayed onset muscle soreness and injury-related muscle soreness. You have to know the difference. 

Delayed onset muscle soreness, aka the “doms,” happens 6 to 48 hours after performing moderate physical activities, like dancing for a few hours, working out after skipping it for a week, or trying a new workout or routine that worked different muscle groups than usual. Doms is harmless and normal. The muscle soreness should go away within a week or less. Athletes and anyone who’s into fitness often suffer from doms. 

On the other hand, injury-related muscle soreness will require immediate medical attention. If you see bruises, swelling, or you’re feeling a sharp pain in specific parts of the body after dancing, you are injured, and you need to have it checked by your doctor or physiotherapist for treatment. 

Why do dance injuries happen?

There are many reasons why dance injuries occur. Dancing is a physically demanding activity. Even if you’re only dancing for a few hours, you are vulnerable to injuries because of the repetitive movements. 

If you are dancing competitively or a dance instructor, the repetitive movements lead to stress fractures and injuries. Since professional dancers spend less time to recover in between rehearsals + the floor is hard and slippery, the studio is cold, you keep wearing high heels, and you’re vitamin deficient - all these will increase your risk of injury-related muscle soreness. Don’t ignore the pain because it might worsen.

6 Tips to Soothe Muscle Soreness After Dancing

Thankfully, there are so many ways of soothing minor aches and pains caused by social dancing. Here are some tips: 

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Warm-Up Exercises: Performing light stretches before dancing helps condition the muscles for the activity. Again, dancing is a physically demanding activity, so you have to warm the muscles up to prevent soreness and possibly, an injury.

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Magnesium Sprays: Magnesium sprays helps relieve muscle soreness quickly. This product can be applied to the skin, and it works quickly. To get rid of the stickiness, wipe the excess product with wet wipes.

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 Pain Relief Cream: From Bengay to Tiger Balm, pain relief creams soothe tired, aching muscles while warming the skin. These products are available at local pharmacies and are easy to apply. We highly suggest massaging the cream onto the skin using light to moderate circular motion. Working the product into the skin boosts absorption and blood circulation, which speeds up muscle recovery. 

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Heat Packs: Applying a hot compress on the affected area provides quick relief for mild to moderate muscle soreness and pain. Warming up the muscles minimizes tension that contributes to pain. It also boosts blood circulation while blocking the pain receptors from signaling pain to the brain. 

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Hot Showers: Just like applying a hot compress on painful areas of the body, hot showers soothe muscle pain and soreness too. The heat relaxes stiff, tight muscles while also minimizing pain. Turn up the shower, and the water pressure works as a massager of sorts, applying targeted relief to the affected area. 

Photo Credit: Anschutz Wellness

Light Workout: It seems counter-intuitive to work out the sore area, but light cardio, yoga, pilates, or aerobic exercises get the blood pumping, eliminating muscle tightness and soreness while flushing toxins within the muscles. Of course, do this with caution. Always listen to your body. If you are feeling pain or the soreness is affecting your form, stop immediately and try again the next day. 

Muscle soreness and pain are a part of a dancer’s life, and this goes even if you’re just dancing for fun. A great way to prevent pain caused by muscle soreness is wearing the right shoes. Yami dance shoes are designed for dancing. Our shoes boast strategically placed cushions that absorb peak impact. Along with sturdy heels and supportive features, the cushioned insoles let you dance longer in heels without pain! Click here to snag the perfect pair!
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