If you've pushed yourself too hard at the gym or you've overdone it in the garden, you're probably feeling the after effects now. The pain you're feeling is muscle inflammation, and for most people it's an inconvenience they could do without. If you're eager to get back to physical activity, then read on to find out how you can speed-up your recovery.
What causes pain after exercise?
Pain after exercise is referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). It usually occurs one to two days after exercise, and can affect anyone regardless of their age or physical fitness. Any movement you're not used to can cause sore muscles, such as:
- Working your muscles in a different way
- A change in your workout routine
- A more intense or longer training session
During a workout your muscle fibres endure microscopic damage, which leads to inflammation. When your muscles recover, they also get stronger, so that next time you do the same exercise, your muscles repair even faster.
Contrary to what many people think, the pain is not caused by lactic acid.
Recovery from physical activity
Delayed onset muscle soreness usually starts one to two days after physical activity, and lasts for around three to four days. The NHS in England advises people suffering from post workout pain to:
- Plan in rest days
- Use an ice pack
- Take painkillers
- Massage the area
- Use a foam roller
Athletes and fitness fanatics are often eager to speed up their recovery time, so they can get back to the gym quickly. Some are turning to cannabidiol (CBD) for help.
Can CBD oil help with muscle recovery?
CBD is thought to be a powerful anti-inflammatory, that can help ease pain. It's already used to treat multiple sclerosis patients in the UK, and is used by people with arthritis to manage chronic pain caused by inflammation.
A 2018 review of 132 original studies¹, found that cannabidiol can reduce inflammation, improve mobility, and manage pain in multiple sclerosis patients.
Now professional athletes are turning to CBD for a safe and alternative way to treat their injuries and speed up their recovery. Like retired athlete, Dom Day - a professional rugby player for over 14 years and founder of the CBD line of products, FourFive.
"I was searching for natural alternatives to help me with my injuries towards the end of my career. I heard about CBD products and thought I should give it a go as it had just been removed from WADAs substance misuse list", said Dom.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed cannabidiol from its list of prohibited substances in 2018, so athletes can safely take it without fear of being banned.
After noticing a gap in the industry, Dom launched FourFive, and it has been well received by the sports community. Over 400 professional sports people are now using his range of CBD infused muscle rubs and joint gel.
How does cannabidiol work?
CDB is one of many organic compounds found in hemp. Once extracted it can be added to a range of products from skincare to gummies, chocolate and tea, but the most popular way of taking CBD is in a tincture (concentrated drops).
Cannabidiol interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which maintains the body's homeostasis - balance of chemicals - and plays a part in regulating:
Some experts think that CBD is an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and analgesic. It's also believed to be neuro-protective, which is why it's regularly used in patients with multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Is it safe to use CBD products?
Cannabidiol is a close relation to tetrahydrocannabinol, which you might know as THC. They both come from similar species of cannabis plants, but CBD doesn't have the same psychoactive properties, so it doesn't give you the feeling of being 'high'.
It's considered a safe alternative to THC, and is legally available to buy in the UK on the high street and online. There are few reported side effects and many people prefer CBD to conventional drugs, like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
CBD is an organic supplement, and as we mentioned earlier, it has been removed from the anti-doping agency's list of banned substances for professional athletes.
There is no substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, so if you think you're suffering from more than post workout pain, speak to your GP. Only you know what feels right, so listen to your body and seek help when you need it.
How to use CBD for muscle recovery
We recommend using a topical CBD product for reducing muscle and joint inflammation. It can be applied directly at the site of the pain, and gets to work quickly for immediate relief from aches and pains.
Our range of muscle balms, salves, and gels are ideally suited for muscle recovery. Here is our pick of the top products:
- Green Stem CBD muscle balm - this soothing blend of lavender, sandalwood, and jasmine, with high-quality CBD, can be massaged into tired and aching muscles.
- FourFive thermal joint gel - one of our best-selling products for treating pain conditions and aiding post workout recovery. Blended with capsicum, it provides a warming sensation to ease sore joints.
If this is the start of your CBD journey, we can help you pick the right product and establish a routine that works best for you. Our friendly staff has years of experience helping customers to recover quickly and get back to doing what they love.
- Rudroff, T and Sosnoff, J, Frontiers in Neurology [online] Cannabidiol to Improve Mobility in People with Multiple Sclerosis [updated 22/3/2018; cited 23/08/2021] Available from: https://bit.ly/3sEJKr4