High-intensity physical activity, such as exercise or strength training, is a surefire way to develop a bout of painful muscle soreness and swelling. This reaction is caused mostly by eccentric contractions generating microscopic tears in the muscle fibers as well as connective tissue damage. This damage causes increased blood flow to the affected area in an attempt by the body to heal the damaged tissue. This type of reaction is almost impossible to prevent. However, various methods are available to us that can help us effectively treat this painful and often crippling condition.
Among the myriad chemicals and remedies that promise to offer relief from painful swelling, we find Arnica. Also known as Wolf’s Bane and Mountain Tobacco by native american's, Arnica Montana, is a flower that belongs to the Sunflower family and happens to have potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Historically, tinctures made from Arnica have been used medicinally to treat pain and swelling of the muscles and joints. The active components found within this aromatic plant are a combination of essential oils, fatty acids, lactones, and flavanones. Let’s learn how Arnica manages to provide such robust benefits:
- Reduces inflammation: Arnica’s secret weapon is Helenalin, a potent Anti-Inflammatory, Sesquiterpene Lactone. Sesquiterpenes are chemical compounds found in many plants that can work in conjunction with long-chain fatty acids to significantly reduce inflammation. Helenalin has been shown in several studies to inhibit the transcription of protein complex NF-kB. Specifically, NF-kB is essential to the regulation of the body’s immune response and genes responsible for inflammatory processes.
- Reduces pain: In controlled studies, where mice were subjected to pain through the use of formalin and acetic acid, it was suggested that Arnica has powerful anti-nociceptive effects. Involuntary muscle contractions related to pain sensation were seen to be drastically reduced when the test subjects were treated with Arnica. The total analgesic and pain inhibitory effect have been suggested to be an effect of the volatile oils found in the plant. Arnica was also found to possess a synergistic analgesic action when used in conjunction with hydroxyethyl salicylate to treat sports injuries.
Reduce exercise-induced swelling with Arnica
The best way to use Arnica as a treatment for swelling and pain is too apply topically. To get the most benefits and experience the most effective relief, rub it directly on the inflamed tissue. Used in this manner, Arnica can enter the skin and start to work in the affected area. Finding a formulation which is designed to have trans-dermal penetration is also important as having the product or organic material sit on your skin does less good if it is not completely absorbed into your body. Athlon Rub 's - Athletic Herbal Rub is formulated to be quickly absorbed for maximum effectiveness. Unlike products that sit on the skin and take time to evaporate, Athlon Rub is oil and extract based for better epidermal applications.
Athlon Rub is Informed Choice Certified which means the lab and production process is void of banned substances (PED's) for WADA and USADA Testing.