For most people, muscle pain after an intense activity can be pretty annoying. Often, it takes a while for the pain to subside. So, one wonders how athletes who are used to doing intense physical activity manage muscle pain.
What is Muscle Pain?
Muscle pain can happen to any part of the body. It can occur when the muscle experiences overexertion, infection of soft tissues, or inflammation. There is an increase in the incidence of muscle pain in athletes during the start of a new training season, when they change the intensity or duration of their exercises, or activate a new muscle group during exercise.
Managing Muscle Pain
For athletes, managing pain is crucial. If they suffer from muscle pain, it’s harder to train and when they cannot adequately prepare, their performance will suffer.
Here are some of the ways athletes manage muscle pain:
They do a proper warm-up before any training or workout
In the past, experts advised that it was essential to do proper stretching before starting any workout. Now, that is no longer the case. Studies show that stretching does not factor in preventing muscle pain or injury. What’s more useful is having a proper warm-up. Muscle stretching is better when the muscles are warm, so save it for later.
They do cool down stretches and massage
As well as stretching before exercise, it is important to stretch after too. Many people feel that a good stretch helps encourage faster muscle recovery (and growth) and reduce pain. Also, massaging straight after a workout is becoming more popular, and is often see in CrossFit gyms especially.
They take lots of supplements
Athletes take supplementation seriously. One of the vitamins that they take religiously is Vitamin C, which has high levels of antioxidants. Some athletes manage post-exercise pain by consuming loads of protein.
They gradually ease into their training
One of the mistakes that causes muscle pain is immediately increasing the intensity of the workout or training after a long absence. Athletes make sure that they maintain regular exercise even if it is not their training season. This daily physical activity prepares their body to take on more serious workouts come training season. They gradually build on the intensity of their exercise and prime their muscles.
They have regular check-ups with their healthcare providers
Athletes need to have a regular schedule with their healthcare provider to see if there are some things they have to improve or address when it comes to their overall health. As such, they can see if their muscle pain is something that can be resolved with adequate rest or requires pain management from pain centers like Seattle Pain Relief. Often, the healthcare provider will recommend an exercise routine that’s safe and effective for them to practice.
Some exercise experts even advise athletes who suffer from joint pain to keep their joints moving so they can continue to get nutrition. They also recommend weight-bearing exercise regimens to increase the strength of the muscles that support the joint. Athletes also often work with physical therapists that show them how they can safely workout and keep the pain to minimum levels.
They only take pain medications when necessary
Athletes are careful about what medications they take. That’s why they only take pain medications when it is necessary. Often, they will choose other pain reduction methods rather than taking medications, especially when they are nearing their tournaments, as some medicines are not allowed to be present in their bloodstream.
Managing pain, whether you are an athlete or not, is essential. We have to recognize the importance of differentiating acute from chronic pain, which may affect our lives significantly. While athletes have access to better pain management methods, it is also important for others to know that they can also manage their muscle pain effectively.