Hopefully, there's no broken bones and you only need a bit of rest to get your mobility and strength back. The optimal way to speed along your recovery and minimize the pain is by reducing the inflammation caused by the injury. Before you reach for over the counter remedies that may cause GI or tummy irritation, however, consider these natural options below and helpful suggestions that follow to help yourself avoid future injury.
How does overexertion occur? When you are on the job or engaged in your favorite activity, you may not always be mindful of your physical limits as you reach, pull, lift and move. Out of shape weekend warriors are all too familiar with next day soreness and pain. But you can just as easily stress a muscle or joint beyond its limits in a single movement gone wrong. You know the feeling. A pop of a joint, an instant spasm of a muscle or worse, a snap of a bone from a fall or impact. Now you are in for a whole lot of pain!
Depending on the injury, the pain and discomfort could result in lost work and missed family fun as you struggle to recover. And, let’s face it, being poopy is just not your happy place whether for one day or several.
How long does healing take? It depends on the extent of the injury. But with the exception of a broken bone or torn tendon, you may not even need a doctor’s visit. Without going into a lot of biology and anatomy, your body reacts to injury through an orderly and highly orchestrated series of steps. From the initial insult, the immune system reacts to contain infection, on open wounds, decrease swelling and reduce shock. The area may feel hot and tender. You may not see any visible signs of injury, however, connective tissues are still repairing and recovering from the stressful activity.
If you suspect you have simply overexerted yourself and rest is the prescription, determine to ease the aches and pains by reducing the inflammation.
Although inflammation is a defense mechanism that comes in handy during an injury, prolonged or excessive inflammation worsens a situation. If inflammation persists, it can actually interfere with the healing process, cause scarring that limits connective tissue movement, damage joint linings and contribute to the level of pain felt. Reducing inflammation has the opposite effect of promoting healing, limiting the scarring and reducing pain levels.
While there are several over the counter anti-inflammatory medications (commonly called NSAIDs), many add a risk of stomach upset and irritation that may harm the stomach lining. If you’re on blood thinners (like Coumadin), blood pressure or arthritis medications, your doctor has no doubt warned you not to take these anti-inflammatories, which includes aspirin due to increase risk of internal bleeding.
Herbs and supplements which act similarly to anti-inflammatories but work in a gentler manner over time may be an alternative for you. Plants naturally contain compounds that protect it from environmental insult and appear to pass along these properties to humans when consumed in standardized forms, (meaning research is behind the identification and use of the medicinal compounds of the plant).
Three very helpful products TyH offers are Curcumin ES™, In-Response™ and Turmeric Curcumin. Turmeric Curcumin has been successfully for thousands of years for aches and pains as evidenced by its continued use for the same reasons today. Curcumin ES™ contains the patented form Meriva®, which absorbs easier and at less dosing than standard curcumin. Studies with this form have been compared and shown to be as effective as Tylenol® for muscle soreness and pain, as well as osteoarthritis. Curcumin appears to interfere with the chemical agents that cause inflammation in the first place to stop the inflammatory cycle. In-Response™ is a combination of several plant constituents, a main one being ursolic acid, a well-known remedy used for painful muscles and joints. This specific formula also includes turmeric, ginger, green tea and Boswellin®, as their plant compounds add to the healing synergy blend. Full descriptions are given in the product links as well as in the articles below.
While it is best to avoid overexertion in the first place, life has a way of interfering with the best of plans to move wisely. Here are a few things to consider, thoughts avoid injury in the future!
- Warm up your muscles before doing any physical activity. Warm muscles are more flexible. One simple way is just walking around, swinging your arms back and forth until you actually feel a bit “warmer”.
- Break up repetitive movements with micro-breaks of a minute or more to rest or stretch the involved muscle(s). Dr. Mark Pellegrino calls this “being shifty”. Move every 20 minutes minimum to avoid muscle tension and/or fatigue.
- Lift with your legs. Sounds funny but it is important Stand square, hips over knees/feet. Don’t twist while lifting. If picking up from the floor, bend your knees and lift with a straight spine. Stand close to the object being lifted so you don’t lean while lifting which strains the low back.
- Ask for help if you need it to perform a task. Consider using special tools, a dolly or cart to transport items. Make multiple trips and take smaller loads rather than risk lifting something too heavy for you.
- Consider a work table that hits at waist height to avoid prolonged bending. Low back, shoulder and neck muscles are common muscle areas affected by straining or overuse.
- Get plenty of rest. Injuries can happen more easily if you are tired (brain and muscles both need sleep!) If too tight muscles or pain is an issue, consider Valerian Rest™ as it can be taken day or night to ease pain and lessen night time wakening.
- Eat well to nourish your muscles to perform at their best and for daily repair/recovery pre and post-exertion. For instance, take a multi-vitamin-mineral like Multi-Gold™ that covers nutritional bases. Since most Americans are low in magnesium which is a muscle energy requirement along with co-enzyme Q10, try Fibro-Care™ and David’s Fibro-Q10™ to support muscle movement.
Source: National Safety Council: Overexertion
Read More in the TyH Health Library
- Curcumin ES™, More Bioavailable for More Healthy Benefits!
- In-Response™, A Team Approach to Beating Inflammation
- The Many Benefits of Curcumin
©TyH Publications (M. Squires). For informational purposes only. Please consult with your health care professional for any personal medical advice.