How To Deal With Soreness

I know it sounds like a bumper sticker but I'll go ahead and say it: Soreness Happens.  Some days it's just a little annoying, sometimes it's completely debilitating.  Every day, it's there.  If you're brand new you might be wondering how to deal with it.  If you're a wiley vet you probably want to get over it as soon as possible to get back to training; or maybe to just stop walking weird.  I'm here to help.

Whether you are a newbie or a longtime athlete, you want to fix this.

Whether you are a newbie or a longtime athlete, you want to fix this.

First things first: Pain vs. Soreness

Pain and soreness is one of those age old questions with no easy answers.  It can be tough to differentiate but I always stick with the old "if it feels sketchy it's probably sketchy."  Does your whole quad hurt?  It's probably just sore.  Does your knee have a sharp stabbing feeling?  You should probably lay off.  Here's a quick guideline:

•    Stiff and General: probably just soreness.  If it goes away after getting warm you're good to go

•    Hot/Burning and Localized: sounds like tendinitis.  give it a little rest and do some soft tissue (see below) work above and below

•    Electric/ Stabbing and Local or General: that sounds like nerve pain.  that is NOT something you want to mess with.  Get that checked ASAP

The Simple Stuff

Like most things in life, most problems can be solved by just taking care of the easy things.  If you just got your car checked out regularly, you'd be good to go and prevent thousands of dollars in eventual damage.  Whelp, same thing goes for your bodies.  Here's the "basic maintenance" you need to be doing:

1.    Drink more water.  You're just not drinking enough.  I guarantee it.  Your soft tissues are meant to be supple and liquid.  When they get dried they get frictiony (not a word but you get the point).  Not drinking water is like not putting oil in your car.  Bad things happen.  Stop letting bad things happen. 

Bonus: Add an electrolyte like Nuun or Nutriforce's Balanced Hydration.  Water doesn't do any good if you just pee it away.
2.    Move around.  You probably noticed that the longer you sit down, when you eventually start moving around it SUCKS!!!  Well make sure you're moving around a lot to promote blood flow and get those substrates that cause lingering soreness.

Bonus: Move every 15 minutes to get some more water.
3.    Take fishoil.  Fishoils have tremendous anti-inflammatory properties.  We don't want to get ban inflammation.  It's necessary to heal.  But we want to make sure we don't get more than we need.  Soreness is inflammation, deal with it by eating fish or taking a fishoil.  Long story short: don't buy cheap ones, it's worth getting the good stuff with high DHA/EPA.

Bonus: Grass fed meats have all the same benefits as Fish Oil.

The Fancy Stuff

I know what you're thinking, "But Andrew, I'm a super stud so that simple stuff won't cut it for my hardcore lifestyle.  Give me the next level stuff so I can get back to training."  Fair enough.

1.    DO THE SIMPLE STUFF!!!!  As I wrote earlier, the simple stuff will do 99% of the work.  This fancy stuff is MAYBE an additional 5% of help (and that's being generous.)

2.    Get a voodoo band.  High Intensity Compression is a WONDER DRUG.  If you've never done it ask a coach to show you how.  The Rogue Voodoo band is amazing and lives up to it's name.  While we're not exactly sure how it works (there's some interesting research being done) we have a good idea and we're 100% confident it does wonders for soreness.   If you're not warming up with one you're missing out.  

3.    Cool-downs.  Do you just go sit down after your workout cause you tired?  Adaptation fail!!!  Get those nasty substrates out of your system.  Get on a bike and spin for 5-10 minutes and you'll feel WORLDS better the next day.  

Give some of those a try (STARTING WITH THE SIMPLE ONES!!!) and let us know how they work