Pain is one of the last indicators of a problem. “Listen to your body” and how it feels, because it sends you clear messages. Pay attention to what you are feeling within your tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints) before it becomes a problem. If you feel…

a. stiffness
b. tension
c. tightness
d. fatigue

…within your muscles, tendons, ligaments, or joints, you probably need to…

1. Rest
I see many patients who workout four, five, or more times per week and never take a rest. Sometimes the muscles need an extended period of rest to repair and regenerate for more than the 24 to 48 hours most active people give them. Take my word for it! Give your muscles a two to four week rest and you will usually see the results. This is something I recommend to patients who have been experiencing chronic aches, pains, and discomfort. Chronic aches and pains are a very early sign of an impending injury, so listen to your body! When my patients follow this plan of rest and repair, most get back to pain free function. Of course, while taking that rest, I recommend they come in for chiropractic care and soft tissue therapy to speed up the recovery process.

2. Stretch
In addition to rest, aches and pains are frequently an indication of muscle tightness. Stretching is one of the best things you can do. When muscles become too tight, they store extra tension within the muscles and they continue to feel achy. Consider doing some yoga. Yoga is a great way to elongate tight muscles. And as you may or may not know, I provide something called “Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation,” a stretching therapy that stretches your muscles much more thoroughly and completely than you can do yourself.

3. Foam Roll/Massage Stick/Massage Ball
There are many tools you can use to loosen your tight muscles. Some that I recommend include foam rollers, massage sticks, and massage balls. If you’re not familiar with “The Miracle Ball Method” (massage ball) you should become familiar with it, because it’s my favorite of all of the self massage tools. I recommend it to most of my patients and give you a lesson on how to do it when you come visit me at my office.

4. Get a Massage
Hands on therapy is one of the best ways to relieve tension in tight muscles.┬áThai massage is something I’ve received when I’ve had my own aches and pains. In addition to the hands on massage provide by a Thai massage therapist, Thai also includes stretching techniques which do wonders for your muscles and joints. If you need a recommendation for a good Thai massage therapist, I’ve got one.

5. Receive Active Release Therapy
I provide Active Release Therapy to muscles, tendons, or ligaments that are either acute or chronic problems. Active Release Therapy breaks up scar tissue, reduces inflammation, and restores proper muscle function. It’s probably the best soft tissue method you can get, but only a small percentage of practitioners provide this kind of care.

6. Get Chiropractic Care
Muscles are attached to every joint in your body, and when you injure a muscle you often injure the joint to which it is attached. If you injure the joint, it often becomes stiff and immobile, reducing the joints range of motion. The chiropractic care I provide restores the range of motion and often brings instant relief.

So there you have it. I’ve been an athlete all of my life. I’m 49 years old and I lift weights 3-4 times per week, mountain bike at an advanced level a couple times per month, play basketball here and there, golf almost every week, play an occasional game of flag football, and even do some of those intense fitness boot camps a couple/few times per month. I push my body pretty hard at times, but I also listen to my body. The moment I feel any kind of lingering ache or pain I do something about it, and the 6 things I’ve outlined above work for me. If they work for me, they will work for you. And yes…I even have my own chiropractor I go to on a somewhat regular basis. ;)

Cheers

Dr. John Blenio
High Amplitude Health | Chiropractic and Sports Injury
San Mateo, California