Why is it Okay to Have Muscle Inflammation After the Workout?

Muscle Inflammation

You like working out. Swimming, cycling, hiking, gymming – you do all this to keep yourself fit and active. But those regular after-workout pains and aches leave you squirming in bed and mentally exhausted? Don’t be worried. Muscle inflammation is healthy for your body, and even doctors would tell you that. Why? Read on the points below to understand how muscle inflammation helps your body.

Protects your body from injuries and infections

Inflammation has protective effects on our body. It can be acute or mild depending on the nature of injury or disease. Suppose, you twist your ankle or wrist while working out. As a response to this injury, your body increases the flow of blood vessels in the affected area and shuts down the exit. Some types of cytokines (regulators of inflammatory reactions or immune responses) and white blood cells release in that part of the body and try to repair the damaged muscle or ligament, being piled-up there. As soon as the pain alleviates, and infection in the area is gone, the exit point automatically opens for the cytokines and blood vessels to pass, which in turn, subsides the swelling. Hence, it means your immune system creates inflammation to treat injuries or ailments.

But, don’t take inflammation lightly. A higher level of inflammatory reaction can be risky for the health of your muscles and tissues, mainly when you exercise. If you hurt your knees while practicing kickboxing and get swelling there, don’t go for the next class until it goes down because your body response may not be ready to cure excessive swelling.

Makes your muscles stronger

The acuteness of the injury depends on the intensity of your exercise and the use of muscles during the sessions. In case of minor injuries caused to your bones, joints, muscles, or connective tissues, you may not realize any pain, especially if you are not a regular workout person. The microtraumas or minor injuries typically heal all by themselves creating more cytokines in the impacted area to repair tissues in your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This process helps them to become automatically stronger and resilient to similar exercises. Also, your body becomes better at handling inflammation response within the normal levels. So in simple words, your muscles gain strength and their ability to adapt even increases.

How to treat inflammation?

There is no doubt that small degrees of inflammation work as stimulants for your tissues to become stronger. And with every workout activity, your cells also become good at dealing with this problem. But you need to know the limits beyond which it may not be wise to leave everything to your automatic body response system. For example, if you sustain any shoulder or wrist injury while playing tennis or volleyball and the pain persists, you need to see your trainer or physical therapist for proper treatment.

Besides, you can look for an anti inflammatory patch of a trusted brand and use it on the injury for pain relief. Sleep more and take less stress for a peaceful mind and body. Eat anti-inflammatory foods, such as dark leafy vegetables, carrots, salmons, colorful fruits, etc.

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Rudy Mawer is a certified sports nutritionist from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN). He has a first class bachelor's degree in Exercise, Nutrition and Health and a Master's degree in Exercise and Nutrition Science. Rudy has worked as a sports nutritionist and trainer for 7 years and has helped hundreds of people transform their physiques. He has worked with many professional athletes and teams, including the NBA, professional bodybuilders, world triathlon gold medalists, and Hollywood celebrities. Rudy bridges the gap between science and real-world application. He applies the latest research into his writing and consulting practices.


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