Ginger helps relieve sore muscles

Reprinted with permission of Life Extension

An article published online on April 26, 2010 in The Journal of Pain reports the discovery of a positive effect for ginger in relieving exercise-induced muscle pain.

Professor Patrick J. O’Connor of the University of Georgia’s College of Medicine and his associates compared the effects of daily supplementation with ginger or a placebo in two double-blinded clinical trials. In the first trial, 34 participants received 2 grams raw ginger or a placebo for 11 days. On the eighth day of the trial, the subjects performed 18 eccentric actions of the elbow flexors with a heavy weight. Pain intensity, perceived effort, arm volume, range of motion, strength, and plasma prostaglandin E2 (a mediator of inflammation), were evaluated prior to and on the three days following the exercise regimen. The second trial was identical to the first, with exception that the ginger was heat-treated, which has been suggested to enhance its pain-relieving effects.

Hard workout? Have some ginger!

Subjects who received ginger experienced a 25 percent reduction in pain 24 hours after exercising. Heat treatment appeared to provide no further benefit. Ginger also impacted other factors measured following exercise; however, the effects were smaller. “This study demonstrates that daily consumption of raw and heat-treated ginger resulted in moderate-to-large reductions in muscle pain following exercise-induced muscle injury,” the authors conclude. “Our findings agree with those showing hypoalgesic effects of ginger in osteoarthritis patients and further demonstrate ginger’s effectiveness as a pain reliever.”

“The economic and personal costs of pain are extremely high,” observed Dr O’Connor. “Muscle pain generally is one of the most common types of pain and eccentric exercise-induced muscle pain specifically is a common type of injury related to sports and/or recreation (e.g., gardening). Anything that can truly relieve this type of pain will be greatly welcomed by the many people who are experiencing it.”

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One Response to Ginger helps relieve sore muscles

  1. Doug says:

    Thank you for the good tip. I didn’t know that Ginger was helpful for muscle pain.

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