Can you go the distance? You might want to if you’re looking deal with muscle soreness and inflammation.
A study co-poduced by Binghamton University in NY and Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, has shown that endurance training can be a helpful tool when dealing with muscle problems. The 12-week experiment consisted of taking muscle biopsies from two groups, an endurance exercise group and a non-exercise group. When looking at the health and inflammation within muscle tissues, the endurance athletes produced signs of significantly improved muscle function with less inflammation.
Muscle inflammation is known scientifically as myositis, and is used to describe many muscle weaknesses, swelling, infections or pain. While there are drugs on the market to manage the pain associated with myositis, they only relieve the symptoms without addressing the problem. Chief researcher Kanneboyina Nagaraju explains, "All the drugs people are using target one immune cell or a group of immune cells, but there are no new drugs that target muscles that are dying.” According to Nagaraju, exercise targets the immune cells that are killing the muscles, whilst simultaneously repairing cell death within a muscle.
The study suggests a combination of medication and endurance-based exercise can help sufferers prevent and relieve themselves of muscular pain. So why has it taken so long to identify exercise as a key contributor to muscle relief?
"The reason why exercise wasn't considered before is that if people have muscles that are already inflamed or weak, they believed exercise would make the muscles worse. However, what is surprising is the question of why exercise is so effective. It's because exercise takes care of the immune cells that are damaging the muscle while simultaneously targeting specific parts of dead or affected muscles," says Nagaraju.
The new research has a strict focus on muscle inflammation, so avoid applying this remedy for joint and skeletal pain. However as counterintuitive as it may seem, if you’re suffering from muscle pain, keep moving. Try a lower impact, longer style of workout and give your muscles the chance to heal.