Martial Art Train Without Pain
By Deb Russell
Several studies have found that taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin after exercise reduces muscle soreness and improves your range of motion a day or two later. Aspirin kills pain and also reduces inflammation. It can have severe gastric-intestinal side effects, irritating the stomach and cause bleeding as well as ulcers. Aspirin can also interfere with the production of the coating that protects the stomach and intestine from stomach acid so use buffered or enteric-coated aspirin. Aspirin also interferes with blood clotting and should not be used for injuries in which the skin is broken and bleeding is evident.
Acetaminophen has the same pain-killing effects as aspirin for most people but does not have as much of an anti-inflammatory effect. They are less irritating to the stomach and have no anti-clotting effect. Ibuprofen is the active ingredient in non-steroid anti-inflammatory agents. There are numerous products containing this ingredient and all have very strong anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Do not to take aspirin along with anti-inflammatory agents. The two are chemically similar; adding one to the other could lead to a toxic reaction. So, for example, if you are taking ibuprofen for sore muscles and you get a headache, take acetaminophen instead of aspirin.
There are many natural pain relievers and injury prevention in supplement form.
- Bromelain, an enzyme derived from pineapple, picks up all the debris floating around your damaged muscle. When you overwork a muscle enough to cause pain, bits of muscle fiber actually break off. These tiny scraps of protein may clog the muscle and cause pain and inflammation. Because it's an enzyme, bromelain helps by breaking down these proteins and digesting them. Once the waste products are eliminated, pain and tightness go away.
- Ginger, a natural ibuprofen, is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Like bromelain, it also contains an enzyme that can break down protein. In ginger, this enzyme is zingibain. Ginger (500 mg) also contains anti-oxidants, which help neutralize the free-roaming, unstable molecules called free radicals that play a role in causing inflammation.
- Siberian Ginseng, an herb, helps the adrenal glands produce more stress hormones. These stress hormones help your body recover more quickly from the effects of strenuous or muscle straining exercise. Although you may have to take irregularly for a month before it begins to yield benefits, clinical studies do suggest that ginseng improves training performance.
- Anti-Oxidants, like supplements of vitamins C and E, should be taken regularly because your muscles tend to produce more free radicals when you exercise. A healthy supply of these nutrients will help minimize pain the day after your workout and will speed the healing process as your body rebuilds its muscle tissue.
In contact and fight-oriented styles there are likely to be more bumps and bruises as well as the more serious broken knuckles, toes etc. The martial artist must understand that the body can take extreme impact when extremely conditioned. It is the mindset to push the body to its physical limits. This is evident with board breaking. Given the choice not to break thereby avoiding injury, martial artists take the risk. The end result may be a successful break, which in their minds is well worth all their pain and injury.
This Martial Arts muscle treatment article is continued in the following sections:
Muscle treatment is often accomplished with anti-inflammatories. It is not a good idea to aproach muscle treatment with any kind of pain killer on an empty stomach.
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