We often feel muscle pain after exercising. It normally happens when we decide to go for an extra ten minutes of running, a little more intense workout, an extra cardio class or a second recreational game. The first step out of your bed can be nightmare and also a sign of a long and painful day ahead.
Pain comes from overuse or over-stretching of a muscle or group of muscles. Even when it is a case of minor pain, yes, it’s still annoying and it can be embarrassing at times (limping around the office???). However, people have a difficult time dealing with muscle pain and minor injuries. When do you need to see a doctor? When can I use a pain relief product? When can I exercise again? Every case is unique, but here’s a quick guideline to prevent, treat and improve minor muscle pain.
Prevention: stretch, stretch and stretch. We all know we need stretching before exercising. But we should also stretch after activity is done, and in some cases, even during your workout. Look for a good stretch guide and make sure you warm up before you stretch (you should not attempt to stretch before your muscles are warm).
Treatment: several products can help you minimizing muscle pain. Arnica, Tiger Balm, and Traumeel can temporarily get you the relief you need for minor problems. Allow yourself some time before returning to exercise, about a week would be ideal, and restart slowly and carefully. If you still feel pain after continue use or products or a few days after injury first occurred, then it’s time to see a doctor.
Improvement: if you have a muscle that seems to be always the problem, (your hamstring for ex.), look for specific exercise to improve and fortify that muscle. A simple once a week workout can get you better muscle strength and prevent future injuries.
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