Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can treat muscle inflammation, says About.com. Ice packs, massage or gentle stretching can help treat muscle soreness or inflammation caused by exercise.
A sport or active injury generally causes muscle pain and inflammation. A fall, collision or twisting motion that results in a sudden impact usually causes an acute injury. Pain and swelling are immediate, and the quickest treatment is to rest, ice, compress and elevate the afflicted area, explains About.com. Pain medication can reduce inflammation and improve comfort while the injury is healing. One side effect of pain medications is an upset stomach.
Chronic injuries commonly start with a dull and nagging pain that doesn't go away. Doctors recommend pain medications for short-term use only, says About.com. Rest and physical therapy are the best treatments for these injuries.
When it comes to icing muscles, it is best to apply the ice to the inflamed area as soon as possible. This method is most effective during the first 48 hours of muscle soreness, states About.com. Massage helps to stimulate blood flow and can reduce swelling of the muscles. Some studies have shown that stretching doesn't make a difference in reducing muscle soreness in athletes, but many claim that stretching is the key to quick recovery.