Aches and pains are a fairly common part of an active lifestyle. After all, if you’re pushing hard at the gym, running like a beast, and working out, you’re going to feel the occasional twinge in your muscles, joints, or spine. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways you can manage your aches and pains without the need for medication. Here are a few you can try today:
ALWAYS take time to stretch before any workout, and consider taking a few moments after your training session to stretch as well. Stretching helps to loosen up stiff and sore muscles, and can send blood rushing to your limbs to warm everything up, thereby reducing injuries. Stretching also enhances your range of motion and helps you to move with greater fluidity, which will go a long way toward helping you move easier as you train. Whether you’re already achy or want to prevent aches and pains, it’s always a good idea to spend time stretching.
An ice bath can be an amazing way to combat your daily aches and pains. Not only will it stop your inflammation, but it will help to increase blood flow to your limbs. It does so by constricting your blood vessels, which sends blood to your core. When you get out of the bath, your body pumps an abundance of oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood to your limbs to warm them up. This will do wonders to reduce post-workout swelling and soreness, and can help to decrease inflammation around acute injuries. It’s particularly effective when paired with a good post-workout meal.
Foam rolling brings on its own kind of pain, but it’s worth it to loosen up all those sore muscles and connective tissues. The rolling helps to smooth out the fibers in your skin, fatty tissues, muscle tissues, and joints, making them work better and reducing the stiffness brought on by scar tissue, tight muscles, or repetitive strain injuries. It’s worth spending a few minutes foam rolling before you work out!
Cold wraps are a good alternative to ice baths, in that they provide the relief of pain and decreased inflammation offered by an ice bath. However, they have the added bonus of applying compression to your joints and muscles, thereby helping to stimulate better blood flow. If you’ve got an injury or a sore trouble spot, using a cold wrap can be a great DRY alternative to soaking in an ice bath.
Epsom Salt Baths
This is a different approach to pain than an ice bath. While ice baths reduce circulation to your limbs, Epsom salt has the opposite effect. It dilates your blood vessels and relaxes your muscles, which encourages the elimination of waste products collected and stored in your muscles. When you get out of the bath, you’ll find it’s much easier to stretch and work out the kinks in your limbs thanks to the high magnesium content of the Epsom salts.
If you’re really in a lot of pain, it may be worth a visit to your chiropractor. Chiropractors have trained to know how to loosen up tight muscles and joints, and you’ll find that it can be one of the best options for dealing with lower back pain. If you have acute or chronic pain that could be brought on by an injury, it’s definitely a good idea to consider paying your chiropractor a visit. You’ll be able to find a good course of treatment according to your specific injury.