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We’ve all heard that we should stretch before a workout, and we know we are supposed to ice sports injuries, but are these tips and tricks actually helpful, or are they just myth?

Keeping your body safe during sports and other types of exercise should be a top priority, but it can be difficult to know what will truly help your body when there is so much misinformation about preventing and treating sports and exercise-related injuries.

Below we will discuss some of the most common exercise myths and how to ensure that you are really taking care of your body.

Myth #1 – Always stretch before exercising.

You may have grown up hearing this one, but it can actually do you more harm than good. This is because stretching unwarm muscles can lead to pulled muscles and muscle weakness. Instead of stretching before a workout, do a light warm-up. Allowing your muscles to warm up slowly before your work out will help prevent injury.

– Go for a short walk
– Jog in place
– Do some light arm exercises before your full work out

After a workout, feel free to carefully stretch your warm muscles. This may help decrease soreness following exercise.

Myth #2 – Take an anti-inflammatory before you work out.

Many people think that doing this will help with the pain and inflammation caused by working out your muscles. However, it can actually do the opposite.

Anti-inflammatories can cause a leaky gut, which actually leads to more inflammation in the body. Additionally, taking pain-killing anti-inflammatory can be problematic, because you may overwork already strained muscles.

If something is especially painful, your body is telling you about an injury that needs rest. A painkiller will stop the pain of an injury, which may cause you to do more damage to the injury since you can’t feel the pain. Too many anti-inflammatories can also slow down the body’s healing process.

Myth #3 – Always ice your injuries.

It is commonly thought that ice reduces inflammation and bleeding. Ice can actually inhibit platelets from controlling bleeding. And while it is true that ice reduces swelling, this is not actually beneficial in most cases.

Inflammation is one of the first steps the body takes to begin healing. If we try to stop this step, we may be hindering the body from healing properly, and this could cause injuries to last longer or never heal completely.

Next time you are getting ready to exercise or trying to decide how to treat an injury, keep these myths in mind. If you ever have questions about how to best prevent or treat an injury, ask your doctor or a sports medicine specialist.

Crisp Regional’s orthopedics team will provide you with the best information and care regarding sports related injuries so that you can keep your body strong and healthy.