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How To Treat Muscle Pain
If you have ever indulged in any sort of physical activity, chances are that you probably are accustomed to experiencing muscle pain. Muscle pain, usually defined as intense pain in the muscles due to soreness, is a common prevalence and majority of people go through it at some point in time. When the muscles are overworked and put through physical activity which they are unused to, they start to hurt and this in turn leads to muscle pain. While it is usually caused by a lack of regular physical activity, muscle pain may also occur after repeated sessions of extreme duress.
Easing Muscle Pain/Aches
Despite being viewed as a routine medical problem, muscle pain poses great danger and this is why it is worth looking after. After all, temporary bouts of pain may turn into sustained and chronic bouts. Furthermore, muscle pain also severely impacts one’s productivity, albeit for a short period of time. Hence, it is essential that muscle pain is dealt with properly. To help make the pain caused by this menace more manageable, below are ways 4 ways to treat muscle pain.
The muscles in our body need a healthy supply of oxygen to ensure smooth functionality. Glycogen (stored energy in the body) needs to be converted into glucose and this process requires oxygen. However, since the supply of oxygen is reduced due to the pain, the muscles eventually stiffen due to hampered blood circulation. Getting a massage restores the blood circulation and in the process improves muscle functionality as well. Gently rubbing the painful areas with just the right amount of pressure reduces quite a lot of pain.
Switch between Hot and Cold Therapy
Athletes and sports’ personalities around the world know well about the benefits of hot and cold therapy and what it can bring as far as muscle pain is concerned. Due to the numbing property it has, ice helps reduce pain by making the affected areas numb to pain. Applying heat on the other hand reduces the inflammation in the muscles. By holding anti-inflammatory properties and improving the flow of blood to the muscles, heat works in its own way to reduce muscle pain.
The most effective way to apply both cold and hot therapy requires an individual to switch between the two to maximize the benefits arising from the use of both of them. For instance, if ice is used one day, an individual should make use of heat the next day.
Often underestimated and neglected, stretching is an extremely effective form of exercise that not only helps stimulate the muscles, but also reduces the probability of experiencing muscle pain. Stretching before or after any strenuous activity helps loosen the muscles and ensures their smooth functionality as well.
The fact that you happen to suffer from muscle pain does not entail that you stop exercising altogether. In fact, exercising on a regular basis can help you get on with the regular routine of your life in a better manner. Moreover, exercising consistently also aids in the muscle growth process, which further helps an individual stay more active and productive.
Back Pain is the most Common Muscle Issues
With our bodies depending on the back muscles for most activities, back pain is unsurprisingly one of the most common health problems in the United States with every 4 out 5 people having to deal with it at some point in their lives. Feeling sharp pain anywhere from the upper to lower back is a usual amongst individuals and one that is not limited to any age group. From teenagers to older people, back pain knows no boundaries and can strike anyone, anytime. Fortunately though, even while it can be very discomforting, back pain generally subsides within a short period of time with a combination of painkillers and rest. However, some people are not that fortunate. For them, back pain develops into a constant problem and turns into what is known as chronic back pain.
The Severity of Chronic Back Pain
As the name suggests, a medical condition is said to be chronic if it does not subside within a period of a month or two. Chronic back pain is back pain that continues to haunt people over a prolonged period of time, running into months and years. As if the duration is not a problem in itself, what makes chronic back pain even more detrimental for health is the fact that its symptoms are strong as well. When chronic back pain strikes, even the healthiest of people can be forced to rest in bed and feel extreme pain upon the slightest of movements. Furthermore, the occurrence is also a source of discomfort as chronic back pain can resurface just about any time. Therefore, with the severity of chronic back pain, there is an active need to deal with it and below are some relatively simple yet quite effective tips for managing the pain.
1. Get moving
Initially when chronic back pain strikes, it may be best to take some days off and rest. However, as time progresses, too much of rest can cause an aggravation in the pain. Thus, it is suggested that people with chronic back pain get as much exercise as possible. Experts believe that physical activity helps in stimulating the muscles and reduces inflammation. By remaining stationary for long periods of time, the back muscles tend to become stiff and stiffness makes it harder to move. Through ensuring regular movement of the back muscles, not only will it become easier to move, but there will also be a better chance of minimizing the symptoms associated with chronic back pain.
In order to exercise without worsening the condition, a light and less impactful training program must be adopted. Focusing more on cardio instead of strength training or heavy weight lifting will bring about positive results and guarantee safety.
2. Reduce weight
It is a well known fact that being overweight or obese puts added pressure on the back and the added pressure may well be blamed for chronic back pain. When the legs can’t support the upper body weight, naturally is the back that has to bear the extra pressure. Therefore, even simple activities such as sitting or standing may cause back pain to individuals who are overweight.
While there are plenty of ways to lose weight from using fancy supplements to following strict diets, the best approach involves striking a balance between the two whereby a healthy diet is combined with an effective training program. Over doing things as far as exercise or diet is concerned is not only unrealistic, but it also projects minimal sustainability. As chronic back pain is a long term condition, dealing with it too requires long term steps.
3. Quit smoking
Smoking is considered bad for health and even more so for people suffering from chronic back pain. Studies have shown that smoking restricts the flow of nutrient containing blood to the discs located in the back. Thus, this results in causing the pain to increase.
Alter the sleeping position
Unknown to most of us, the position we assume while sleeping is usually incorrect and a major reason why our backs tend to hurt upon waking up in the morning. The correct sleeping position involves sleeping on sideways, with the knees slightly bent towards the stomach. Moreover, if the back pain persists, try placing a soft pillow underneath the back and the knees.
Heavy weights or not, the correct lifting position plays a vital role in ensuring back health. When an object away from the body is lifted by bending the back, the back muscles are forced to bear all the brunt, which increases back pain. Hence, in order to avoid this from happening, make it a habit to always lift by getting into the squatting position. In addition, try and get the object as close to the body as possible before lifting it.