Is soreness inevitable?
Soreness is pretty much a given when you are a dedicated athlete. Sometimes training just hurts, and that’s the way it goes, so suck it up!!! If anyone has ever told you this, slap them, and tell them to shut up. Yes, being uncomfortable is par for the course when you train, but saying that you should be in pain if you want to train to maximize your athletic potential, is just stupid.
Look, I have had my fair share of soreness. I have had tendon issues. I have had joint issues but; did I just suck it up and push through it? Hell no! I found out a way to mitigate that impact of my training on my body. Now, this included a great deal of change, and what brought about all this change? Research.
Topical skin care and joint pain
Knowledge is power, and I want to let you in on a little bit of knowledge that might just rock your world, from your AC joint to your Patella! Topical skin care is an application of an aid, medicine, ointment (such as magnesium oil) directly onto the first layer of skin, and it will be absorbed via transdermal absorption – absorption through the skin, directly into the area that is experiencing pain.
But let's just hold fire here for a second and take a step back. So, why are you in pain, what is magnesium oil, and why the hell am I rubbing it on my elbow?
First, ask why it is hurting in the first place.
Ok, so let's break this down. If you are, experiencing a huge amount of stress, are not properly hydrated, have not warmed up or cooled down properly, then you are training in a non-optimal state, but hey, when are we ever optimal right? Well, while we cannot be in a fully optimal state, we can aim to get pretty damn close. So, when you train in a non-optimal state you put the body at a higher risk of experience damaging the body, especially in main sites of movement within the athletic movement that you are engaging in. So, lets say that, for arguments sake, you ball into the gym and throw down on a 5X5 Overhead Press, but you are rushed from work, and you skip some of your warm up, and before you know it, you are at the end of the workout and you say to yourself, “Man! My elbow is on fire!”
That my friend, are your tendons, ligaments, and joint capsule screaming at you! The reason for this being; is that you have stressed the joint and its surrounding structures into a non-optimal state. Which in turn, has led to an inflammation of the joint capsule, and said surrounding parts. So, now that we understand what has caused the problem, how do we go about fixing it?
How to fix the joint pain?
Well, first things first, up your water intake to 3/4 litres a day. However, if you, like me, do not want to carry around a jug of water all day, or lack the XXXXL bladder size, then this is where magnesium oil comes in. Now, even though we call it a oil, it's not. What it actually is; is a mix of Zechstein Magnesium Chloride Hexahydrate and water. However, the funny thing is, is that most people are actually deficient in magnesium – which we get from nuts, vegetables, and whole grains. Now, one of the key roles of magnesium, out of all of the 300+ metabolic processes that it is involved in, is as a muscle relaxant. When we link this back to the case of joint pain being a prime symptom of inflammation in the joint capsule and its surrounding parts – i.e. muscle, we can see just how important getting magnesium into our system really is.
What actually happens when you use magnesium oil
Hopefully, by now you should just have about figured out why you are rubbing this oil, that is in fact, not an oil, into your inflamed elbow joint. But, just in case, here is a quick look at what goes on when the rubber hits the road. Ok, so when you spray the magnesium oil onto the skin and rub it in, it becomes absorbed into the first layer of skin, and is then transferred via osmosis down through all of the subsequent layers of skin, and is taken into the affected area. When this has happened, the magnesium begins the relax the tissues which are under a state of tension, due to their inflammation.
This tension is why sore joints generally also feel stiff. When this inflammation is reduced, the surrounding structures of the joint begin to work within their full ranges of working motion. Equally, in joints which require lubrication from a synovial membrane – a pouch which encases the joint. We see that inflammation reduces the ability of the membrane to produce lubricating synovial fluid which, in turn, leads to any movement of the joint to further inflame, and potentially damage the joint capsule, due to the fact that there is little to no lubrication. Think of brake plates without any brake fluid. Now imagine these brakes trying to stop a Ferrari gunning it down the road at 110MPH. The end result would not be pleasant for anyone involved.
So, take my advice, don’t allow yourself to suffer joint pain, just because you think that its just part and parcel of being an athlete. You do what you do so that you can express your fitness, and your passion, not be hindered by it. So take your joint health into your own hands. Remember; make sure that you spend your time being in an optimal state to train, not training to be in an optimal state. Without the best start, you will never have the best finish.