Preventing Muscle Pains Before They Have a Chance to Strike

Muscle aches and pains are incredibly damaging not just to our daily activities, but also to our mind. No one enjoys knowing that they’re going to be in a world of pain after doing something even remotely physical. Be it taking care of the garden, cleaning the house or even doing their jobs, no one wants to suffer from muscle pains in their everyday lives. Sadly, this is something that happens to the majority of people and it’s often ignored, especially when you just start out. For example, if you’ve just started a physical job, then people will often tell you that you’re only in pain because your body isn’t used to the work. While that’s a valid point (without pain, there are no gains!) it doesn’t mean you have to subject yourself to torture everytime you work. Even during a workout, athletes have a limit on how much strain and pain they can take before they’ll give in and look for ways to reduce the pain. It could be limiting how much they work out, they might take a look at their diet, or they could change how they work out. You are no exception. If physically-fit athletes have to pay attention to the pain their bodies are going through, then so must you. To help you prevent any further pain, here are a couple of considerations to make, possible changes, and useful advice to keep in mind.

Identify The Cause of Pain
Muscle pains always happen for a reason. There’s always a source or activity that triggers them, and it’s your job to find out why it’s happening. Take it slowly and try to analyse your daily activities. As soon as your muscles burn with pain, take a look back and see what you were doing. You also need to try and identify where the muscle pains are coming from. Some obvious cases include back pains during heavy lifting for work, or leg pains when you’re walking for long periods of time. Your age also plays a big factor in this, but don’t assume that growing old is what's causing you pain. When you grow older, your muscles become more fragile and they’re more susceptible to damage and pain which is why you need to take it slowly.

Removing the Possibility of a Medical Condition
Pain is never a good sign no matter where it is in your body. If you’re lucky, then the pain will be caused by something you’re doing, such as overusing a muscle or straining a part of your body too much. However, there are times when muscle pains are a symptom of something else. Some complications, such as lupus, can actually cause muscle pains and it’s important that you see your doctor if the pains are seemingly random or happen far more frequently than they used to. In some cases, the flu can also cause tenderness and soreness in parts of your body. Bacterial infections may also be the cause of your pains. In short, always consider the possibility that it’s an illness that is causing you pain.

A Look into Treatments
There are many ways to deal with your muscle pains. Prevention is the best method, but you must also look at treatments for immediate relief as well. A simple way to ease your muscle aches is to take some over-the-counter medication such as painkillers. These will provide an immediate sense of relief, but you can’t always mask the problem with medication. Applying something cold, such as a frozen pack of peas, can also help to reduce the pain. For a more professional method of relief, consider physiotherapy sessions. These are usually prescribed by your doctor, but you can also walk into clinics and book an appointment for advice. If you’re still experiencing issues, then resting those muscles is another way to get immediate relief.

Practice Better Habits
As mentioned before, preventing your muscle pains is the best way to deal with them. At this point, you should have a good understanding of why your pains occur in the first place. If it’s due to work, then you may want to reduce your workload or ask for more assistance. Carrying a heavy object can put a lot of strain on your entire body, so if you’re not physically fit enough to do it then consider asking for help until you recover and build up enough strength to do it on your own. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for assistance—help is out there as long as you are willing to take it. Using the same example of carrying a heavy object, your posture and your form when carrying it are also important. Much like working out, there’s always a proper form for doing strenuous tasks at work and if you do them incorrectly, you’re more susceptible to muscle damage and pains.

Stretching Helps
Your muscles need to “warm up” before they’re ready for action. Before a workout, make sure you stretch a little and get those muscles going before you put them to use. The same counts for work or any other activity. Do you plan to walk to work? Then start slowly and gradually build up speed. Do you have to carry something heavy on your back during your commute to work? Give your shoulders and back a little warm-up before you do. Once you settle the bag down, take a moment to stretch a bit so that those muscles don’t cramp later on in the day. If you have a sedentary job, then don’t forget to get up now and then and do a couple of stretches. It doesn’t need to be vigorous, just stretching your legs, arms and going for a brisk walk around the office is usually enough.

While muscle pains are frustrating and debilitating, they can be easily managed if you’re willing to put in a little time and effort into discovering why they’re making your life so hard to live. Don’t forget the importance of looking after your health, keep up the good habits, and remember to stretch!

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