Martial Art Train Without Pain
By Deb Russell
Noticing pain days after training can be an indication that you have a delayed muscle-spasm rather than torn muscle fibers. Most muscle injuries result in some degree of spasm or tightness. Some mild muscle "pulls" actually end up to be low-grade spasms. If you are not sure when the muscle began to hurt, you probably have not torn the muscle.
Pain killers or an anti-inflammatory taken as soon as possible after a muscle spasm starts, will help prevent torn muscles from going into spasm. Next follow a gradual exercise program that uses a combination of icing and stretching.
Apply ice to the muscle to numb it and then massage the muscle with the ice until it is numb. Next, start moving the sore muscle until you begin to feel tightness or pain. When the pain disappears, hold the injured body part in that position for a 20-second static stretch. A few moments later, contract the muscle slowly but fully, and hold for about 5 seconds. This isometric contraction aids in the relaxation of the muscle. Now move the body part again until you feel tightness or pain. Hold the body part for 10 seconds and then contract the muscle for 5 seconds. Repeat the stretch and contraction again, and then stretch the muscle one last time. Let the body part rest naturally for 20 seconds and repeat the entire exercise. Re-numb the muscle between sessions if needed. This method of icing and stretching can also be used initially in muscle pulls and tears. Within two or three days, the dull ache of the muscle spasm will be partially relieved. Then you can gradually resume training. Using a sports liniment also helps to relieve the aches and pains of training. Working it into muscles may help to relax the muscle and increase blood flow to the sore area.
Tiger Balm, a form of hot liniment, can also be used as a warm-up aid. Besides helping to relax tight muscles and increase blood circulation, it may shorten your warm-up time, particularly in cold weather. Applying after warm-down may help increase blood flow which will reduce the your chances of muscle soreness. A proper warm-up raises the overall body temperature, not in one particular muscle group. Using a hot liniment such as Tiger balm can be viewed as a passive warm-up for one body part, say your hamstrings, but should not be used as a replacement for a proper warm-up routine prior to training. You can prevent sore muscles by warming up before you train and cool down afterward. Include at least a few minutes of movement with each of the major muscle groups; the calves, thighs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, and arms.
This Martial Arts muscle spasms article is continued in the following sections:
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