We’ve all done it – pushed ourselves a little harder than we expected or stepped the wrong way and tweaked something. Those little aches and pains can be, well, a pain. The little aches and pains that may not necessarily need medical attention, but just need a little extra TLC are what I am talking about. How do you deal with them?

**First of all, if there is any immediate swelling, bruising or excruciating pain, contact your doctor immediately!

Otherwise I recommend:

  • Ice – the cold from ice is a natural pain reliever and can do wonders for reducing redness and inflammation. Make an ice pack from crushed ice or a bag of frozen peas. Then place a thin rag or paper towel on the affected area first and then apply the ice pack. Ice packs should be left on for about 20 minutes and then removed. You can repeat as often as needed.
  • Heat – for sore muscles a nice warm bath or heating pad is wonderful. Make sure you are not applying heat for more than about 20 minutes at a time either.
  • Pain relievers – Ibuprofen and other over the counter oral pain relievers are very effective for reducing pain and inflammation. If you are dealing with a chronic, low intensity pain, ibuprofen can be very effective.
  • Arnica – my kids call arnica “magic in a tube”. Arnica is a homeopathic pain reliever that has been used for centuries. It can be purchased as a tablet, cream or gel. We really prefer the cream application I prefer Boiron’s – Arnica Cream over the others we have tried. Arnica is wonderful for helping soft tissue damage (bruises, sore muscles, strained muscles) heal faster. It can be used in conjunction with any of the above treatments, too.
  • A brace. Depending on the nature of your injury, you may just need a little extra support for the affected area. For example, a knee brace can often give the perfect amount of extra support to allow you to keep training without pain.

I am not a doctor and if you have any questions about the severity of your injury, please consult your doctor. The recommendations in this article are based on my own personal experience.

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