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The key to treating muscle soreness may be more exercise

Working out after a long time off or going especially hard on the treadmill one day can cause sore muscles, and the best remedy may not be what you think. Researchers from the National Research Center for the Working Environment found that more exercise may be just as an effective treatment as massage.

The small study focused on a group of 20 women. Researchers asked them perform a strength building exercise that worked their shoulder and back muscles. When the participants returned two days later they reported increased muscle soreness, especially in their shoulders. The research team then gave each participant a 10-minute massage on one shoulder and asked them to perform 10 minutes of low-intensity exercise on the other shoulder. Each activity reduced soreness.

"If people go out and exercise and get sore, they can find some relief in just warming up the muscles," said lead author Lars Andersen.

The findings may be particularly interesting to athletes who are coming off particularly intense games on the basketball court or soccer field. Even something as simple as light jogging, cycling or anything that lightly works the muscles can reduce their soreness and have them back out there.

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