Is back pain and muscle soreness an inevitable consequence of intense physical activity and getting older?
I don’t believe so. The conclusion of my recent research and personal experience is that back and muscle pain can largely be prevented and reversed. (Caveat: This article is about pain that originates in muscles and connective tissue — I will not address pain due to disc herniation, spinal stenosis, degeneration, infection or cancer).
By implementing a few key strategies over the past year, I’ve almost eliminated the sore muscles or back pain that I used to experience after a long run or heavy workout. I’m able to quickly recover with little downtime. And I do it without resorting to anti-inflammatory medicines, icing, massage, stretching or many techniques that are commonly recommended to reduce or prevent pain and soreness. As I’ll show, a combination of specific exercises and dietary interventions can great help reduce and immunize you against back pain and muscle soreness.
This article is one of my longer ones, because I had to synthesize a broad spectrum of information into a coherent perspective on muscle pain and its prevention. I hope you can stick with me or read it in bite sized pieces. I will break it into four parts. If you just want my recommendations, skip to Part 4. For those who want to understand the science, read on…
Part 1. The biology of pain
Part 2. Exercise for pain prevention
Part 3. Diet for pain prevention
Part 4. Recommendations