When delayed onset muscle soreness – aka DOMS – hits after a tough workout, it can make everyday activities like climbing the stairs or unloading the dishwasher excruciating. But you might want to think twice before reaching for the Advil, Jason Sawyer, associate professor and director of Bryant’s exercise science lab, tells the New York Times for a recent article in their popular Well section. “The research shows that NSAIDs will reduce your feelings of soreness, but they will blunt the actual healing,” he explained to reporter Amanda Loudin.
According to Sawyer, treatments like temperature contrast therapy and fascia rolling may look good on social media, but, since they aren’t really penetrating the muscle, they only offer a temporary respite from stiffness. Instead, he recommends things like prioritizing sleep and keeping up protein intake. While these may not be as sexy as a Wim Hof-style ice water plunge, they are the most effective way for the body to heal.