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Everything You Need to Know About Reducing Aches and Pains

You can take steps to help you reduce your daily aches and pains, and possibly prevent them from continuing.

Many people ache or hurt on a daily basis and believe it's just how it goes, it's normal. You get up out of bed and start your day with a groan, and take a few stumbling steps while your body works out the morning kinks. Gradually, as you wake up and you warm up, these aches reduce and you go about your day. You forget about it until the work day is done. You're stiff, sore and groaning your way through the evening until bed. Does it really have to be that way?

What Is Causing It?

The first step is to figure out what is causing your aches and pains. Were you injured? Do you have a chronic condition? Do you do a lot of repetitive motion? Or do you sit a lot without a lot of activity in your daily life? If you do have a medical condition or have an injury, see your doctor first. You may need medication, therapy or another intervention. But if you are given the all clear, time to look at other avenues.

Start Moving — Slowly

This does not mean you have to start working out an hour every day. If you have not been exercising regularly, start by moving more. Get up from your desk once or twice an hour and walk around for a couple of minutes. Start walking for 10-15 minutes a couple times a week. Gradually add in some stretches a few times a week — daily is great if you can. Muscles get tight from lack of use, repetitive motion and even hours of sitting each day. As you feel good, you can work out a more structured exercise plan.

Ice vs. Heat

If there is inflammation or swelling, ice is your best bet rather than heat. Ice helps to reduce inflammation while heat can aggravate it. Heat can help muscles warm and loosen, making it easier to move and stretch. Not sure which is good for you? Ask a professional like your doctor, physical therapist or athletic trainer.

Rest If Needed

If your pain is due to an injury, medical condition or strenuous training, you may need to add in rest. Adequate sleep, time off from exercise and just putting your feet up to rest may be what is needed.


Muscles can feel knotted up and tight which can lead to aches and pains. A massage therapist can manually address these tight areas and help you feel relief.

Topicals and NSAIDs

Before you use anything medicated topicals or oral medication, speak to your doctor. Some may not be appropriate or safe for you, or you may need a prescription strength form. Use as directed, and most times these are used for a brief period of time.

Water and Good Nutrition

Your muscles are mostly water — so start hydrating! A well-balanced diet fuels your body as well as replaces nutrients lost on a regular basis. Your muscles do a lot of work and are constantly repairing themselves. Fueling and hydrating will keep them functioning at a high level.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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