I take it for granted that people out there know and understand the value in using common things to help their body feel better and ultimately, heal.
The more I talk to people, the more I realize that people don’t really know what to do when they are hurting or when they have some long lasting aches, pains and soreness.
Here is a short list of things that flat out work:
ICE – Not everyone likes putting cold things on their body, I know I don’t. However, the value of doing so sometimes outweighs the intial discomfort of the cold. Muscle pain, soreness, overuse injuries, etc… Try an ice pack. Yes, you can put it directly on the skin regardless of what your school nurse has told you. 20 minutes, no more. Put some crushed ice in a zip-lock baggie and you are in business.
Heat – There are many forms of heat that you can use to find relief. Heating pads, hot packs that you put in the microwave, hot bathes, Jacuzzis or spas, etc.. Heat will help relax your tight, achey muscles, bring some pain relief. Heat up your sore muscles before you workout, get in a hot bath or hot tub after you workout, or before bed. 20-30 minutes does the trick.
Massage – You don’t have to hire a professional to get a basic and valuable massage. Do it yourself massages are great too. Get a tennis ball, golf or baseball and put it on the floor. Roll your sore muscles over the ball. Better yet, go buy a foam roller and do the same with those. If you have a strong significant other, have them give you a muscle rub down each night and target those spasms or knots. A few nights of this and you will feel like a new person.
Stretching Before Bed – Try some static stretching right before you go to bed. Not only will the stretching be good for you and bring you some pain relief, it will also help relax your body and get you to sleep better and faster. Try it.
Remember, these are just common things that anyone can do. Try some of them out the next time you are hurting a bit. Try some ice instead of popping the Advil. Use heat instead of missing the next workout because you are sore. Get a in-home massage each night and I promise you will feel better.