If you work out on a regular basis or are an athlete then you know with hard work comes pain. Finishing a grueling workout is a sign of accomplishment. However you may experience muscle tightness, joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. Another unfriendly result of hard workouts is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, better known as DOMS. The go to for aches and pains is traditionally an over the counter medication, or even worse prescription pills.
If you are trying to live clean then there exists a better than average chance that you don’t want to take pills that come with nasty side effects and block symptoms. There have even been studies into whether or not Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen can inhibit muscle hypertrophy (increase/growth). Alternatively there is research disproving these claims. While the results are divided, OTC and prescription pills still come with a host of nasty side effects. And if you’re like me you just don’t like taking medication in general.
Thankfully there exist some natural and proven solutions to exercise related injury, soreness, and stiffness. Let’s examine some options.
4 Natural Ways To Stop Pain
These three compounds have been used for years to treat joint related ailments brought on by wear and tear commonly associated with exercise. Glucosamine sulfate has been shown to provide positive effects on osteoarthritis. Clinically proven effective doses of Glucosamine Sulfate is 1500 mg. Pared with Chondroitin sulfate, Glucosamine has shown numerous benefits including preventing the breakdown of cartridge. Completing the triangle with Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) has shown very significant and promising results in reducing inflammation.
Look for a supplement that uses the sulfate form of glucosamine and chondroitin.
Arnica is a perennial plant species. The Arnica Montana species of this plant family has been used for over 500 years as a homeopathic treatment for relief of muscle pain, stiffness, swelling, and bruising. A 2013 study found Arnica reduced pain in subjects either the same or better than taking an oral NSAID.
Arnica comes in topical creams and gels, oral tablets, and topical sprays.
Magnesium sulfate is an inorganic salt combined with magnesium, sulfur and oxygen commonly known as Epsom Salt. Epsom salts added to a warm bath can help alleviate muscle inflammation and swelling. The belief is that Magnesium sulfate is better absorbed through the skin, thus using it diluted in a bath is the best choice. Dilute 1-2 cups of Epsom salts in a warm bath and soak for twenty minutes.
It should be noted that Epsom salts have become an increasingly popular relaxation aide and spa type product. This has led to the inclusion of different ingredients like lavender, chamomile, and even perfumed scents. Due to the spa like association some Epsom salt products can be moderately expensive for minimal amounts. The good news is you can purchase it in bulk quantities at warehouse stores like Sam’s Club for under $10.00 or even find smaller packages at your local dollar store.
Que the soothing music and tranquil room with warm relaxing colors. Massage as a therapeutic treatment for overexertion and stress has been utilized for centuries. The benefits far exceed just relaxation. Massage has been found to be effective in alleviating DOMS by approximately 30% as well as reducing swelling. Massage is also helpful in releasing tension in muscles that comes from heavy weight training. Keep in mind that that massage sessions can range from $20.00 an hour to well over $100. Alternatively there are many great mechanical massage tools that can be bought for under $100 and are free to use whenever you want. Finally you can now find massage chairs in most malls, hotels, and other establishments. A five minute ,mechanical massage can cost as little as $1.00.
If you’re an elite athlete or a devoted gym trainee than the thought of stepping back can seem counterproductive. After all we are lead to believe that only hard work will bring about results. However there is always such a thing as too much. The truth is that the results from all your work in the gym come later. Muscles don’t grow at on the bench and fat doesn’t incinerate just on the treadmill.
Your body is a complex machine with many mechanical and chemical mechanisms contributing to your work. Those all need time to reset, replenish, and repair. A big part of rest comes from sleep. The Sleep Foundation recommends adults age 18-64 get between seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Sleep is also when your body does most of its reparative work on muscle tissue.
Another part to rest is stepping away from certain exercises in the case of injury. When an injury occurs you may need to find alternate exercises to do or hold off on training that body part until the injury is healed.
As you can see there are many different ways to deal with soreness, pain, and other bodily discomforts. In this article we discussed a few holistic treatments and nutritional supplements. It is important to remember that none of these are regulated by the FDA. The reason for this is that the FDA guidelines do not allow for the review and/or approval or supplements and natural holistic medicine.
It should also be noted that many medical authorities regularly dispute the effectiveness of holistic treatments and supplements. Western medicine is largely based in science and a burden of proof. Western medicine operates on a “see it to believe it” ideal. They want cold hard proof before it can be said righteous. There is nothing wrong with that, however it can be exclusionary. Many cultures outside of North America have used natural methods to treat a variety of diseases and conditions for years and with success. It is vital to remember that lack of proof is not the same as proof of inefficiency. There are many treatments and ideas that maybe science can’t prove or even understand, but there are legions of people who do believe and have benefited. Look at it like this, you may have never seen a million dollars nor do you know you to make that much money. That does not mean that it doesn’t exist and others haven’t done it.