Self-Care Strategies For Muscle Pain
Muscle pain often results in discomfort in a localized area or throughout the whole body. There are generally two kinds of muscle pain:
1. Localized – Affecting just a few muscles or a small part of the body.
2. Systemic – Pain is felt throughout the body and is often the result of an infection, illness or medication.
In this article, the focal point is on localised muscle pain and how some self-care strategies could help with pain management.
1. R.I.C.E Protocol
The R.I.C.E method, acronym for rest, ice, compression, and elevation, is a simple self-care method that helps to reduce swelling, relieve pain and speed up recovery.
Step 1: Rest
You do not want to aggravate any form of injury that may delay your recovery thus resting helps your body to kick-start your recovery phase.
Step 2: Ice
Icing is useful for pain and swelling. It works by reducing blood flow to a particular area which can significantly reduce inflammation and swelling that causes pain. It can also temporarily numb nerve activity, which contributes to pain relief. It is recommended to apply an ice pack on your injury/pain for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours during your first 24 to 48 hours after your injury. Use a towel over your affected area to prevent frostbite.
Step 3: Compression
Applying compression such as wrapping the injured or sore area with an elastic bandage will help decrease swelling through minimizing fluids gathering at the injury site. The wrap should feel snug but not too tight.
Step 4: Elevation
Raising the affected body part above the level of your heart helps reduce pain, throbbing, and swelling. It works through reducing pressure on the local blood vessels off-loading your veins as blood flow moves away from the injury. It also helps with blood circulation, clearing up the edema fluid as part of the normal physiological mechanisms in the body.
Massage helps to regenerate and release the fascia, muscles, and tendons that are tight. It also helps to promote blood and lymph flow, allowing more nutrients to be fed to the muscle for recovery and flushing out by-products that are produced by vigorous muscle contraction.
As I work out 6 times a week, I frequently employ self-massage techniques to regain top form, using foam rollers and massage balls. Sometimes, however, it’s difficult to get to the tight spots or I’m just plain exhausted, so that’s where I call for professional help.
ALEYDA Mobile Spa is my go-to for therapeutic massage. Their deep-tissue therapists are well trained to hit the right spots, and they respond well to feedback and direction (always communicate with your massage therapist!). Furthermore, their mobile therapists will see you in the convenience of your home.
Recently, ALEYDA has introduced “Mg Therapy”, which incorporates magnesium oil into their regular home massage service. I thought this is ingenious because I know for a fact that our body requires magnesium for energy production, calcium absorption, hormonal health, muscle function, sleep, blood pressure regulation and many other key functions in the body. Plus our body absorbs magnesium at a much faster rate through the skin. I urge you to try ALEYDA’s deep-tissue massage in combination with Mg Therapy for a booster effect.
Stress causes tightening of the muscle and restricts the blood flow. Through stretching, a muscle can return to their healthy length, improving mobility and elasticity which allows for a more relaxed movement without tension. Stretching also stimulates receptors in the nervous system and decreases the production of stress hormones.
This article was written by Ryan Chan. >> Read more
Ryan Chan is one of Singapore’s most influential fitness enthusiasts, a certified personal trainer, and a bodywork therapist, not to mention a title-holder champion from a few bodybuilding competitions.
For more information, visit www.shimsfitness.com
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