Take care of yourself: Tips on how to reduce body aches

Having body aches and pains is a natural part of life, especially as we get older. We can get them from sleeping in the wrong position, sitting down too long, or after a tough workout. There are ways to help reduce that pain through proper care, hydration, and stretching to relieve muscle stress.

REMEMBER! If you or a loved one is involved in an accident, a slip or fall, even a minor one, it’s always best to consult a licensed medical professional to make sure you don’t have any injuries and if you do, make sure you are taken care of properly. If you are involved in a car accident, you may not feel pain for several days after the accident. Always consult a doctor after any accident to make sure any injuries or damage is taken care of in the most effective way possible.

For the times when you’re not seriously injured and need to alleviate some muscle soreness, here are some things to remember to help you feel better:

  • R.I.C.E. – Typically after athletic injuries, remember R.I.C.E. This stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Stop using the injured body part and rest. The affected area could become worse if continued use occurs. After you start to rest, apply Ice to the area. Cooling down the affected area can minimize swelling. Remember to wrap ice or an icepack in a towel and avoid placing ice directly on the skin. Apply the ice for 30 minutes and then remove and allow the skin to warm for 10-15 minutes and then reapply the ice. After an icing period, wrap the affected area with an elastic bandage or Ace wrap. This will further decrease swelling by limiting the accumulation of blood and plasma near the injured site. Once the area is wrapped, elevate the injured part above the heart to further decrease swelling and pain. Elevate the area in whatever way is most convenient, such as with pillows or on a solid object.
  • Hydration – Drinking plenty of water throughout the day or before and during exercise can help flush toxins out of the body, prevent dehydration, and help your muscles and organs function properly. Finding out how much water you should drink in a day depends on many factors including age, sex, activity level, and others including if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men should drink at least 104 ounces per day and women 72 ounces per day but that answer isn’t exact.
  • Stretching – After a tough workout or if you just have muscle soreness, stretching can be a good way to help alleviate some of that pain. You should start with an over the counter painkiller such as ibuprofen in a low dose to help decrease muscle soreness. Next try gently stretching the affected area, as muscles tend to tighten up and magnify feelings of soreness. Lightly massaging the area as well as a warm bath can also help to loosen up tight muscles which will improve blood flow and shorten the duration of your aching muscles.

Always remember that these tips will NOT replace a visit to the doctor and if you or a loved one is involved in an accident or any other injury, always consult a physician to get the best course of treatment. Here at Franklin D. Azar & Associates, we’re always fighting for our clients to get them the compensation they deserve. If you or someone you know is injured, call us today for a free consultation.