Here’s where I tell you that I’m almost 43-years-old. Often, I have to remind myself of this because in my mind I’m still about 26. I don’t know why 26, but 26. Over the years I have learned lots of little things to do to take care of my body in addition to eating well and staying active. With years come aches and pains in joints and muscles. For me, knotted muscles are by far the biggest problem (outside of headaches, but that’s another story for another time).
Because I’ve dealth with this for so long, I’ve tried a lot of things to help it. Here are my go tos:
Massage. This category includes foam rolling, self-massage with something like the Back Buddy, and traditional deep tissue massage. I have found that a massage every two weeks really helps and is more preventative, but it’s really frikkin’ expensive, so I just get them when I have to.
Epsom Salts Baths. Take a couple pounds of espsom salts and dissolve them in a good hot bath. Sit until you can’t stand it any more, and then pull the plug. Sit there as the water drains around you and cool off as it goes. Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate, and that magnesium soaks in through the skin and relaxes sore muscles. It’s wonderful.
(I’ve heard cold showers, ice baths, and cryochambers do wonders, too, but I haven’t tried them.)
Massage and epsom salts are a some time thing, but I do have products I use almost daily: muscle rub/oil and over-the-counter analgesics.
Muscle rub/oil. I have tried lots of varieties of these. Two stand out far and beyond the others:
As for over-the-counter analgesics, everyone has their favorites for a different reasons, but I wanted to pass along some recent research results. All the addiction to opiods has led to a flurry of studies to find other, less addictive, forms of pain management. A recent study to which I am sorry I have no link showed that one acetaminophen 500mg taken at the same time as an ibuprofen 200 mg is more effective than any other short acting pain medicine, including hydrocodone and oxycodone. You might think this was by a small margin, but you’d be wrong. If I remember correctly, it’s more effective by almost 30%. Impressive. Typically, I haven’t found that acetaminophen has helped me very much at all, but this combination really seems to be quite good. See what you think…