When you play tennis in your 40s and beyond, chances are you’re going to get stiff, achy muscles after playing.
Sometimes your muscles can get so sore, it’s difficult to move the next day. And that’s a big problem if you’re in a tournament or league and have another challenging match ahead of you.
Sure, you can pop an Advil or ibuprofen to reduce the pain and inflammation. But you don’t want to keep gobbling NSAID drugs day after day, because of what they can do to your stomach.
So what are your options, if you want to avoid drugs?
Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about an all-natural “one-two punch” that can relieve muscle pain and stiffness quickly and keep it away long term.
The first step is to use a topical cream or ointment containing capsaicin. As you may know, capsaicin is made from chili peppers. Studies show it can help relieve many different kinds of pain, including back pain, arthritis pain, muscle aches and even pain as bad as shingles and diabetic neuropathy.
Of course you may be wondering… how can something you rub on your skin relieve pain that’s deep inside? Well, capsaicin “tricks” your nervous system. It’s kind of like a sleight-of-hand, where it draws the attention of your nerves to what’s happening on the surface of your skin and the muscles near the surface. That way it can provide quick relief from pain and help your muscles recover faster.
You can find pure capsaicin crèmes at your health food store and in popular combination ointments like Lakota Rollon Back Pain and Soothanol X2. Just be sure to wash your hands after rubbing it on. You don’t want to get hot chilis in your eyes or other sensitive areas.
An Ancient Remedy Improved
The second natural pain reliever that’s really catching on is curcumin. Curcumin is a component of the herb turmeric. And yes, turmeric (curcumin) has been around for centuries as an Indian Ayurvedic remedy. But now scientists have managed to make it even better.
Curcumin works by blocking proteins in your body that can cause inflammation. It also inhibits a neurotransmitter (chemical) from sending pain signals to your brain.
Now scientists have been able to attach curcumin to something called a phytosome. This phytosome molecule helps curcumin absorb better into your body and cells. In fact, the manufacturer of this new form has research showing it’s absorbed up to 9 times better than regular curcumin.
Look for the newest form of curcumin called MERIVA® in whatever turmeric product you buy, such as Doctor’s Best Meriva Phytosome Curcumin Integrative doctors suggest you take a dose of 400 mg. to 600 mg. of curcumin taken three times daily for pain and inflammation.
My friend Dr. Glenn Scheiner, M.D., recently told me he started taking turmeric every day while down in Florida this past winter. He golfed or played tennis every day for an entire month without missing a day, and had little or no pain afterward.
How about you? Have you tried either one of these natural remedies to deal with your post-match pain? What’s worked for you? Share it with the community below.