Injury prevention should be considered when embarking on an exercise program or engaging in a sporting activity. An injured athlete is no good to his team, and if dad hurts his back being macho at the gym ... yard work, laundry, or just hugging junior becomes difficult. If it has been awhile since you have exercised at all or even since you have done it hard remember start slowly.
Ninety percent of injuries can be avoided by doing a proper warm up that consists of some type of cardio and stretching pre-event, a light jog gets the core temperature up and once that is up stretching is much more effective (you do not want to stretch a cold muscle-think of a cold rubber band?). If you are a runner start out slow and then stretch after say the first slow half-mile to a mile.
If you run like my wife, she runs at about 5mph just to burn calories so her likelihood of injury is low, then you can stretch after you are done. No matter what your sport is stretching is a great way to help prevent soreness and injuries. I would always prefer to prevent injuries instead of having to look for ways to train around them and or have them treated!
Sometimes, even though you have done everything to prevent them, injuries happen. So what do you do? RICE which means rest, ice, compression, and elevation is what you should start with. Rest is pretty simple stop doing what hurts and rest. Ice the injury this will decrease the swelling and start the healing process. Compression, just wrap the injury. This is good for when you "have" to use the injured body part. Elevate the injured area if possible this will again decrease the swelling. Once these things are done where do you go from there? That depends upon the severity of the injury. Severe injuries may require a visit to the doctor and possibly subsequent surgery and therapy.
What products can be taken to aid in the recovery process of an injury. I will speak of several that I have used and found to be very helpful in the healing process. I am constantly on the edge and therefore I am always nicked up with some type of inflammation.
I used to take allot of ibuprofen, until I read that it may interfere with the recovery of muscle tissue. I had read about the Wobenzyme product from Europe and although I was skeptical I tried it and it worked. The company claims to have extensive research on the proteolytic enzymes (protein dissolving) contained in the product but I have been unable to review it. The company says that the enzymes are anti-inflammatory and hasten the recovery process unlike NSAIDS, which slow the recovery process and may have side effects. The product is not cheap , but once you get someone to use it it will be a constant mover!
Another grouping that I will probably use for the rest of my life is a combination of Glucosamine and Chondroitin sulfate. These two have been shown in numerous studies (more on Glucosamine than Chondroitin) help maintain the viscosity in the joints, inhibit the enzymes that breakdown cartilage, and stimulate the mechanisms for cartilage repair.
When I am using this type of product my knees and elbows do make as much noise cracking and popping. I have also found that the pain from training heavy is lessened while using this type of product. I have used each product by itself, but over the last year I have used the Inholtra Natural Pain Formula with great success. I like the formula because it combines the Glucosamine and chondroitin with essential fatty acids.
Essential fatty acids, specifically Omega-3 fatty acids, are very useful when treating arthritis because the aid the body by decreasing inflammation amongst other health benefits such as the are beneficial with high blood pressure, the lower cholesterol, inflammatory skin disorders, heart disease and many other ailments. Because Omega-3's are good for arthritis many researchers surmised they would be good for athletic injuries and they are. Most of the research suggests 5-6 grams daily, but I have found that 1-2 tablespoons works for me much better.
Udo Erasmus the author of the book FATS THAT HEAL, FATS THAT KILL actually says that some would benefit by taken 3-4 times what I have said. I suggest finding an oil that you like and then work with the product until you find a dosage that gives you the results that you want.
Wobenzyme, Glucosamine/Chondroitin, and essential fatty acids are the first products I would try for a sports injury. If you have very deep pocket books then I would also consider MSM, spices like curicum and tumeric, and homeopathic products like arnica. If you are like I am you may also be interested in a topical that may help you get through your next workout or game, and if that is so my favorite product is Pain Relief ointment from Natures Chemist.
Back On Your Feet!
The best way to treat injuries is not to have them, but if you do hopefully the information that I have given you here may help you get back onto the field faster! Until next time take care and GOD bless!