Pineapple For Your Pains

Over the many years that I've had the pleasure to partake in sports, fitness and strength training, and now combining the two in my Kettlebell Sport practice I've had my share of injuries as well as inflammation issues. Most commonly, where my own body is concerned, I feel my shoulders and back moreover anywhere else. In others I hear of their knee pains and hip issues. When dealing with people closely as I do in their fitness programs we find that most of this is derived from an overactive inflammatory response in our bodies.  I definitely can relate from when I have had my back(disc herniation from 3 years ago) and shoulders(proximal bicep tendonitis) give me inflammation problems over the years. It's just part of physical exercise. It happens when we work hard and don't allow enough recovery between workouts and/or alongside not having our nutrition dialed in. But by experiencing this you will much better appreciate good recovery time as well as learn to listen to your body when it gets to the point of over-training.

Here are a couple strategies I've personally used to help myself and my clients whenever overactive inflammation does bear its ugly face.

1. Ice

The first 72 hours of any injury the pain will be the highest. Ice is extremely vital in order to directly decrease theinflammation- which is what causes your pain.  Do not apply heat ever as this will increase blood flow and thus inflammation. For the icing protocol keep it on pretty much non-stop as far as you can help it.
Tip: What I do is have a couple freezer ice packs and have 1 or 2 on and wrap an ace bandage around my shoulder, if I'm icing those, to keep it in place. You probably will need help putting on the ace bandage. Then put your shirt on and go about your business. Who cares how you look... you're recovering. No time for fashion when your body's health is at stake.
Note: If you cannot keep ice on for extended periods do it in this way: on for 15 min. and then off for 10 min.  Repeat 2-3 times and be sure to always keep moving afterward.  This will provide the best results and remove toxins fastest.

2. Stretching

By doing this your body will extend through the fullest range of motion and allow your muscles to relax as much as possible. Stretching, alongside massage and foam rolling, will help facilitate removing toxins from the inflamed area as well as keep scar tissue from forming in the muscles contracted state. When a muscle gets injured it tends to tighten up so that it can better protect itself. While this is good in ways it can be not in others.

3. Anti-Inflammatory Eating

Some other good piece of advice I can give you, based upon the work of Dr. Weil- the leading arthritis(inflammation) doctor, is to refrain from eating tomatoes, potatoes(excludes sweet potato or yam), eggplant, any kind of pepper, and any salty foods you currently consume.  These "nightshade" family of foods are known to increase inflammation in our bodies and of course increased sodium content will retain water in our tissues which leads to even more increased pain from inflammation.

The best things to eat are green vegetables and good fatty foods such as eggs, avocados, and nuts.

4. Eat Pineapple

If you're feeling any sort of inflammation eat pineapple. The enzyme bromelain is absolutely amazing for being anti-inflammatory. It's many uses are: Aches and pains, numbness and tingling, colds, asthma, hay fever (this can be treated with a combination of quercetin {a bioflavonoid} and bromelain), sluggish immune systems, breast pain in breast feeding mothers, and the list goes on. Eating at least half a pineapple daily during this process and ongoing as well will help keep a healthy inflammation response.  If you're a diabetic be sure to pay attention to your blood glucose levels due to the fruit sugars from the pineapple.

5. Good 'ol H2O

Be sure to drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily as this will transport vital nutrients into your cells as well as flush out toxins and acids that keep you sore and slow to recovery.  By doing all of this you will surely increase your recovery time and be much, much stronger and energetic for it.

Keep in mind that if you do have an injury or increased inflammation, depending on the nature of it, it may take 2-4 weeks for your body to fully heal- even with ongoing icing, stretching, and nutrition therapy. Keep that in mind and be both humble and patient with your body alongside continual focus on recovery. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions. I hope you are feeling better and your shoulders become stronger each day.