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Heal Better: Smart Workout Pain Solutions

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Smart Pain Solutions

Minor aches and ouches during your workout are typically nothing to sweat about. Here's how to recover fast from the three most common kinds.

The pain: Sharp and sudden

What to do: Stop exercising immediately. Let loose with a few expletives if you're so inclined: Research shows that swearing helps block pain. Then try gentle stretching. If it's just a muscle spasm, that should help relieve the ache, says Weiss. "If stretching makes it worse, it's likely that you have a strain. You'll need to change your workout so it's pain-free or stop exercising altogether. To treat your injury, apply ice for 20 minutes several times a day."

The pain: A dull ache or cramp that hits as soon as you start your workout

What to do: Keep going for two to three minutes and it will probably subside. This kind of pain often occurs early during exercise while your body limbers up. If the ache continues for more than five minutes, stop and rest that specific joint or muscle until you can exercise without pain, says Urso. To prevent cramping next time, warm up for 10 minutes instead of five. If pain early in your workout persists for two weeks, see your doctor.

The pain: An overwhelming ache late in your routine

What to do: As your body struggles to get rid of the lactic acid and carbon monoxide that build up during exercise, physical exhaustion can make you hurt. Reduce your intensity or pace. "If you're maxed out, you need to stop," Weiss says. Next time try tanking up on coffee first. Women in a study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who consumed caffeine before a tough bout of cycling tolerated leg pain better than those who took a placebo. Caffeine blocks adenosine, a brain chemical that helps process pain.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, June 2011.


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kabas wrote:

Love this story. I felt like it was written for and about me. I have had a severe problem with my right hamstring, gone through 3 rounds of physio but finally this year, I missed out on the marathon. Hopefully, I will get back on the road but I related to the words of Dawn....I am known as a runner and when I can't run it's like I can't live.

6/22/2011 10:38:31 PM Report Abuse
hailzuko1 wrote:

As for gabsterillustrations, I suggest doing plyometrics, but the low-impact versions. I strongly suggest P90X, as it gives you examples of these low-impact exercises while guiding you through the workout.

6/18/2011 01:07:04 AM Report Abuse
hailzuko1 wrote:

If you get busy during your workout, take a small break until you get back into your "zone," which is the range of bpm of the heart that doesn't make you feel like you are going to have a heart-attack or keel over. But whatever you do, don't stop moving if you plan to work out more, as this will cause injury.

6/18/2011 01:06:37 AM Report Abuse
hailzuko1 wrote:

Okay, as for the dizziness, you get that when you're blood-pressure is up. When this happens, do ballistic stretches until your heart-beat goes back to normal. You do this at the end of the work-out.

6/18/2011 01:06:09 AM Report Abuse
hailzuko1 wrote:

Ha! I knew it! I am always able to do my plyometrics so much easier when I drink a diet pepsi before!

6/18/2011 12:59:15 AM Report Abuse

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