So long Spring! As we move into summer, many of us are taking full advantage of the great weather and getting active with hiking, biking, other summer sports, or training for races and events. Summer weekends especially are jam-packed with activities, but many of us can overdo things and potentially injure ourselves. Hence the term “weekend warrior”.
Here is a list of the top 10 sports injuries that many weekend warriors face:
• Rotator cuff injury
• Ankle sprain
• Shin splints
• Ileotibial band syndrome (runner’s knee)
• Plantar fasciitis
• Golfer’s elbow
• Tennis elbow
• Spinal disc injury
• Strained muscles
When looking at potential options to address these injuries, there are several routes that can be explored. Everything from the classic RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method, acupuncture, massage, Intra Muscular Stimulation, pharmaceutical drugs, to herbal medicines and beyond; these are all considerations for managing injury.
Usually, from a medication perspective, our go to options would be Ibuprofen (NSAIDs) and/or Acetaminophen. While both have their merits at managing pain and inflammation, the long term use of these medications can lead to significant issues with GI upset, gastritis, ulcers, GI bleeds, liver compromise, kidney compromise and cardiovascular concerns. Their use has even resulted in deaths, as was the case with the drug Vioxx and its subsequent removal from the market 10 years ago.
If you are interested in minimizing or eliminating your need for conventional pain and inflammation medications, may I suggest you consider the Ayurvedic herbal medicine Boswellia serrata. Traditionally, this herb has been used in the east to reduce pain, swelling, inflammation, as well as support joint function and manage arthritic concerns. Boswellic acids are the active phytonutrients which possess anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-arthritic properties. They go to work to reduce the inflammatory cascade by managing its molecular components (e.g. leukotrienes). In a recent study, a statistically significant improvement was seen in arthritis of the knee after 8 weeks of treatment with Boswellia taken 3 times per day.
One issue with the use of Boswellia as a supplement has been the subject of bioavailability (i.e. how well it is absorbed by the body). As it is a resinous substance, high doses (1-3 g) have been required in order to achieve clinical results. At times, these high doses resulted in GI upset (stomach discomfort, nausea, and diarrhea) for some. AOR has a novel form of Boswellia in its lineup, nanoVAILABLE Boswellia. This unique form delivers the active ingredients of Boswellia in micro-particle, emulsified lipid suspension. In this composition, lower doses of the herb can now be used with much more therapeutic effect due to the enhanced bioavailability of the new form. This also lowers the potential for GI upset experienced by some at higher doses with the regular form.
So, to you weekend warriors with injuries that need attention before your next outing, may I suggest that you consider Boswellia. It packs a solid anti-inflammatory and pain reducing punch without any of the significant side effects of the conventional medications used to address sports injury.
Have you tried Boswellia before? Do you have tips and suggestions to add to the sports injury management conversation? Let us know in the comments below!
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