When playing tennis at a strenuous intensity and duration than normal, he/she might experience delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that causes muscle stiffness and soreness 24-48 hours after engaging in vigorous physical activities.
The arm muscles can also end up sore from overuse during tennis or an injury. In case the individual does not feel improvement with any of the home treatments within 72 hours, it is best to consult a doctor in order to determine the suitable course of treatment.
- You can provide the individual with ibuprofen or acetaminophen for relief to the sore muscles from tennis. In case pain is severe, the doctor might prescribe a stronger muscle relaxant.
- The individual should rest the muscles. It is recommended to rest at least a week for the symptoms to subside before resuming tennis. Allow at least 8 hours of sleep every night so that the muscles are given time to recover after playing tennis.
- Apply an ice pack or bag over the sore arm muscles during the initial 72 hours. You can also apply a heating pad after 72 hours.
- Massage the affected muscles to improve the circulation of the bodily fluids and minimize inflammation of the muscles. You can perform the massage or schedule an appointment with a massage therapist.
- Lie in a sauna to elevate the body temperature to relieve the sore arm muscles. The sauna can also trigger sweating to release toxins from the body and hasten recovery after playing tennis. Sitting in a sauna can also minimize stress which relieves muscle tension.
- Non-weight bearing aerobic activities can help improve the flow of blood as well as warm the muscles. Cycling and swimming are good examples.
Stretching for the sore arm muscles
- Stretch out the sore arm using the wall to reduce the stiffness linked with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The individual should stand facing a wall and extend the arm at a 90-degree angle to the body. The fingers should be extended and place the hand on the wall. The individual should stay close to the wall and without moving the arm and rotate the body away from the wall. The individual must twist until tension is felt and hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat using the other arm.
- The individual should stretch the arms behind the back. He/she must stand straight and allow the arms to dangle on the sides. Lace the fingers behind with the palms facing upward. The hands must be slightly below the level of the buttocks. The arms must stay extended while the fingers laced and move the arms away from the buttocks until tension is felt. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat using the opposite arm.
Important considerations to bear in mind
If there is piercing pain while playing tennis that continues to hurt, it usually indicates an injury. Getting enough rest, application of ice and elevation are used to manage the injury.
Those who have heart conditions are not advised to use saunas. Take note that saunas also increase the risk for dehydration, thus it is vital to drink plenty of fluids before and after leaving the sauna. When using ibuprofen, it has a likelihood of causing stomach irritation and bleeding in the stomach.