Monday, March 5, 2012
soothing aches and pains
The last couple of nights I have not slept well. I woke up one morning with a sore neck. Grrr. But, this brings up a great topic. How I deal with those aches and pains that come with exercise.
Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor. I was formally a Certified Athletic Trainer - but that was several years ago and I have not been in the field since. Of course, those first couple of days of starting a new exercise, your muscles will ache. And, it does hurt. But, it is different than the pain of an injury. I'm sure everyone has felt both! I am going to be addressing general muscle soreness - NOT injuries.
Usually a little Ibuprofen, some ice, maybe a little heat (as long as you don't have a new injury), and a little extra stretching is all that is needed to get through those first couple of days. Or, just tough it out without doing anything. Me, I typically use a little Ibuprofen and leave it at that. But, most importantly, keep exercising. The increased blood flow will help the pain go away faster.
My other way I like to deal with muscle soreness: Rice heat/cold packs! These little buggers are FABULOUS. I keep a couple of little ones in the freezer so they are ready for any bumps and bruises the kids may have (or on the rare occasion an injury I or my hubby has acquired). We like these better than using ice and they are more conforming to the injury site and don't leave you wet! These are NOT washable (unless you use a separate cover), so just be aware of any bodily fluids that may come in contact with these little buggers. I use the larger ones for heat pads. Of course, you can use just one for both purposes. For the larger ones, just pop in the microwave for 45-60 seconds and enjoy. If it feels a little too hot, remove from the area for a minute or two and try again. I use less time for the kids - just in case.
There are many tutorials out there on how to make these (here is one), so I won't go into lots of detail. But, basically these are a couple of pieces of fabric sewn together and filled with rice. I add scented oils to mine - just because I don't like the smell of plain rice heated. They can be made (or bought) in just about any shape or size. I even made some heart shaped ones as Valentine gifts for the tykes.
Shameless plug - Yes I make and sell these too. You can probably find many more available on Etsy or HandmadeAtisian.com.
How to you deal with muscle soreness? Other than not exercise. ;)