I get sore muscles and body aches almost everyday from exercising. What painkiller can I take?

The Man of Steel Doesn’t Avoid Pain, He Knows Its Just The Cost of Doing Business!

There are already many good answers to this question, some of them very good. So, rather than hack over the same old ground, I will let you ask Dr. Google about those and answer the corollary to this question: What you shouldn’t do to get rid of soreness or DOMS .

Most people hate pain, they think of it as the Devil’s Handmaiden. People believe pain to be an unnecessary aberration, do not want to tolerate it and intend to avoid it at all costs. Like Polio, caring parents would like to see their children never exposed to it and pain wiped off the face of the earth. Many modern societies & cultures believe it behooves them to do all that they can to keep the evil of pain from their constituents’ abodes. This attitude is completely intuitive, sympathetically understandable and simply mistaken.

(For example, let’s say) that after a particularly kickass training session last night, your biceps are killing you and so you decide to drop by the local chemist’s on your way home from work to pick up some Brufen.

Taking analgesics like Brufen probably isn’t the smartest way to solve your little pain problem because:

Ibuprofen alters human testicular physiology to produce a state of compensated hypogonadism

Now this sounds rather scary and undesirable (at least for guys trying to put on some buff) and it is. It is really rather counterproductive to why you went to the gym in the first place. And most likely, similar sides are bound to occur with many, if not all of the other analgesics (and anti-inflammatories, but that’s the subject for another post) that you received a script for on your last trip to your doctor’s.

So, perhaps a mind-reset is in order here, and this is a simple explanation for why you need one: when you have trained with credible intensity and invested a reasonable amount of sweat equity in your training session, you briefly upset your body’s homeostasis, you do a little damage on a microscopic level to muscle fibres or have overloaded some other physiological mechanism in some way, depending on your choice of training methods. And the result of this wilfully imposed stress is pain.

This just happens to be the way it is and it needs to be. You must recognise this discomfort as necessarily prerequisite to muscle hypertrophy (in the case of resistance training) and cardiovascular adaptation, in the case of aerobic training. So, here’s the advice: do man up princess.

There might indeed be a few practical ways & protocols to reduce DOMS (i.e. soaking in a nice hot bath might not be particularly high tek, but it works) that won’t interfere with training adaptation. But you do want to be particularly careful here to not put roadblock in the way of all the hard work that you just put in just to silence an ouch or two.

Experiment with some stuff and see what works. The use of analgesics & painkillers after you hit the gym is definitely something that won’t.

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