Managing Pain From Exercise
Regular exercise is the cornerstone of a healthy life. Staying physically active has tremendous benefits for both mental and physical health. With exercise—particularly vigorous exercise—comes the risk of injury. It’s important to know how to recognize common exercise injuries. It’s also important to understand how to treat them effectively using pain medication and other therapies.
Many exercise injuries involve muscles, ligaments and tendons throughout the body. Injuries from exercise often occur in the legs and feet, as well as the wrists, shoulders and the back. One thing nearly all of these injuries have in common? Inflammation. When treating injuries that occur as a result of exercise, it is critically important to treat not only pain, but inflammation as well.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the basic types of injuries exercisers often experience:
Sprains. Sprains occur when ligaments are pulled or torn. Ligaments are connective tissue found at the body’s joints. Wrist, knee, and ankle sprains are common injuries for people who exercise. Sprains occur frequently among people who ski, run, and play tennis, as well as for anyone who engages in high-intensity exercise with a lot of movement.
Strains. Strains are injuries that happen to muscles and adjoining tendons. A muscle strain can occur almost anywhere, but exercisers often experience strains in leg muscles, including hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves, as well as in the back and shoulders and the groin. Nearly all people who are physically active are at risk for muscle strains. Swimmers, runners, and people who do weight-training workouts—even people who do yoga—are among the many exercisers who commonly suffer strains.
Tendinitis. Tendinitis occurs when there is injury to the body’s tendons, tissues that connect muscles to bones. Shoulders, wrists, feet, and knees are common areas for tendinitis. Golfers and tennis players are among those who often experience tendinitis.
Many common exercise injuries can be treated at home and will heal on their own with the right recovery plan. That said, if you have any concerns or questions, if your pain is severe, or if your injury doesn’t begin to improve significantly after a few days, see your doctor. The RICE strategy can help with most mild to moderate exercise injuries:
These steps help reduce inflammation and swelling, promote healing, and help to avoid the risk of further injury during the recovery process.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or NSAIDs, like those containing Choline Salicylate, treat both the pain and the inflammation that so often occurs with sports and exercise injuries. F.A.S.T. Pain Relief contains Choline Salicylate to treat pain and inflammation. It also contains caffeine, which functions as a kind of booster to pain relief medication, helping it work more quickly to provide relief.
Many other over-the-counter pain medications, including those containing acetaminophen, do not treat inflammation. The right pain medication can make a tremendous difference in how quickly and comfortably you recover from an exercise injury. Making sure you’re well prepared to treat your exercise injuries is one way to ensure you can continue to enjoy all the pleasures and benefits of being physically active.