If like me you suffer from the odd muscular niggle, you could do far worse than go and see a sports masseuse. I go and see a nice lady called Jodie. Jodie is deceptively strong for someone so small, and has a knack of making me want to cry. I don’t of course; I’m far too manly to show weakness…
Identify problem areas early.
The great thing about going to see a professional is that they are trained in injury remedy. The good ones will also provide guidance on what exercises or movements to avoid, or moderate, to prevent further or future injuries.
It’s quite often the case that the site of the pain isn’t actually the main problem – this is the effect of conflicts elsewhere. Muscular inbalances, tightness or limited ROM are all pre-cursors to potential injury, and 9 times out of 10, it takes someone in the know to address the issue.
Identify problems early to avoid setbacks further down the line.
Depending on the nature of the niggle, a lot can be achieved by spending a bit more time taking care of yourself. This can be done by introducing or adapting your normal training routine to factor in sufficient time for warming up, mobilising, and warming down at the end of your training.
I’d be the first to admit that I’m not always the most disciplined when it comes to stretching and mobilisation, but one thing I know is that when I do make time to incorporate self preservation into my training, the benefits are noticable.
Reach for the Rumble Roller
The rumble roller (pictured) is an intimidating piece of kit – no question. If you’ve had the pleasure of rolling around on one, you’ll appreciate they aren’t the most comfortable of laying companions either! But they are incredibily good at massaging and breaking down muscular knots and build-ups, which helps to reduce exercise and injury induced inflammation and tension.
If you’ve never dabbled with Myofascial release before, you’re missing out. And chances are your performance is suffering too.
Supplementation to support recovery
As well as taking better care of yourself, in and out of the gym, there are a number of supplements available to support and promote the recovery process.
Exercise induced inflammation is a common ailment. Supplementing with a high potency Omega 3 fish oil, with its anti-inflammatory properties can help to reduce the impact of inflammation, as well as providing your joints with a bit of extra TLC from all the batterings they take during training and competitive sport.
A combination of Calcium + Vitamin D3 + Vitamin K1, which is available in capsule form, offers a number of benefits too – particularly for weightlifters, powerlifters and crossfitters who are shifting serious weight and placing bones under a large amount of stress.
Montmerancy Tart Cherry Extract is another great anti-inflammatory, rich in powerful anti-oxidants like Anthocyanins, which are linked to a reduction in inflammation and pain during exercise. In addition, the perceived benefit to blood circulation is believed to further promote recovery.
Next time you feel a niggle…
Reach for a rumble roller, a tennis ball or a golf ball and crack on with some self massage. If the problem persists, go and see a professional who specialises in sports massage or injuries. If you do neither, mix up your training to give the affected muscles or joints a rest. Acute injuries are annoying but they aren’t the end of the world. They will become the end of the world however, if they turn into chronic injuries.
Chronic injuries are the devil. Take heed.