Summer is in full swing, and that means longer days and more opportunities to get outside. Whether you're an avid cyclist, surfer or simply love a good day hike, if you're feeling the fruits of your labor at the end of the day in the form of aches and pains, there are some things you should consider.
First and foremost, ensure you're using the right equipment and that you're using it properly. For
For the most accurate adjustment, you may want to visit your local bike shop, since most bicycle seats can also be moved horizontally.
For example, if you're new to riding bikes, confirm your seat is adjusted properly so that you don't lock out your knees on the downward pedal or bring your knee above your hip on the upward.
Using the proper equipment accordingly, whether that's a bike or a pair of hiking boots, will minimise your chance of injury. But no one is immune to muscle soreness, aches or the occasional bump, bruise or strain. When you're feeling sore, whether it's from sports or exercise or you experience chronic aches and pains, here's what you can do:
Over the Counter NSAIDs
A NSAID is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. The NSAIDs you're probably more familiar with are aspirin and ibuprophen. These drugs work by blocking a certain group of enzymes responsible for inflammation. While inflammation isn't always a bad thing - it's actually necessary for healing - too much inflammation can lead to pain that may be difficult to live with, particularly at night. If you're struggling to get a good night's rest or you're having a hard time staying focused during the day, an over the counter drug like aspirin can offer some much-needed relief.
Supplement the anti-inflammatories you take with a warm bath. Warmth relaxes tight and sore muscles while also improving blood flow. Improved circulation allows oxygen and nutrients to be delivered faster, giving your muscles an advantage when undergoing repairs.
Warm baths are ideal for muscle pain, whether chronic or caused by exercise, as well as sore joints from overuse or arthritis.
However, in the event of an injury, a cooling and compression bandage, such as CoolXChange is recommended. This assists by decreasing blood flow to the affected area, which reduces swelling and the risk of further tissue damage.
Even without scientific evidence, it seems we've always intuitively been aware of the healing benefits of a massage. Massage, even the more painful deep-tissue variety, is ultimately relaxing and results in reduced pain and faster recovery from soreness. Until 2012, this was somewhat speculative, but today we can say with completely certainty that a massage after vigorous exercise not only reduces soreness but also promotes healing. That's because during massage, the production of the compounds responsible for inflammation is greatly inhibited. This is similar to taking a NSAID.
But the power of massage doesn't stop there. In addition to creating an anti-inflammatory response, massage also stimulates the mitochondria. You'll remember that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, converting glucose in to energy and thus promoting faster healing.
Anti-Flamme Herbal Relief Massage Crème
This powerful yet natural pain crème soothes everything from strains to bruises and aches. It contains four natural ingredients to help you feel free of pain by reducing inflammation.
Arnica is an herb that can be used by mouth or topically. The arnica contained in Anti-Flamme (URL link to Anti-Flamme product) will reduce pain and swelling from sprains, strains, bumps and bruises, and also provide relief from arthritis and cartilage pain. Arnica has some antibacterial properties as well, making it an excellent solution for minor injuries involving cuts or scrapes.
2.Hypericum perforatum extract (also known as St John's Wort)
St John's Wort has for decades been used for concentration and mood, but when prepared as a crème, this flowering plant is actually highly effective in the treatment of all types of minor wounds including bruises, burns and abrasions. That's because St John's Wort has antimicrobial as well as anti-inflammatory properties, which keep pain in check and provide protection against germs.
3. Calendula officinalis (equiv. to 2.5mg/g of dry flower)
This healing flower has been used medicinally for centuries due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Calendula officinalis encourages blood flow to the affected area, which speeds up the healing process.
Peppermint oil has a wide variety of benefits when used as an extract, from stress and headache reduction to dental freshness.
Peppermint provides a cooling sensation to decrease discomfort, as well as contributing to decreased inflammation and tightness.
Take Some Time Off
If you've overworked yourself and aren't seeing any improvement using the treatments above, oftentimes the best remedy is simply to allow your body some time to recover by abstaining from sports or exercise. A few days or rest will allow your body to take the time it needs to repair itself.
Remember that injuries like strains and sprains should be iced and elevated while soreness and pain from conditions like arthritis should receive heat treatments.