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Soothing Those Sore Hurricane Prep and Clean-Up Muscles

Hurricane season brings with it a lot of extras: Extra stress, extra vigilance, extra preparation, and, sometimes, extra work. Here in south Florida, Hurricane Irma recently reminded us that we can’t take the “lazy” days of summer for granted. We hope that all of our clients and friends came through safely, with minor or no damage to homes and property.

Now that Irma has come and gone as a reminder that we can be pressed into heavy-duty work at any time, it seems appropriate to share some reminders on how to deal with all of the extra physical work that hurricane season can potentially throw our way. Impact-resistant windows and hurricane shutters have simplified the process of storm prep for many, but of us do not have those options for protection, and even hurricane shutters (especially hurricane shutters!) require a big output of energy to put up and take down.

Fitness fanatics certainly have an edge when it comes to unexpected heavy work, as they’re already in good physical shape. For people who are more casual about their fitness, the strain of lifting and moving heavy panels (whether they’re metal or plywood), moving bulky patio furniture into the garage or house, and shifting things around to make room for storing the extras inside, not to mention reversing everything once it’s safe to do so, is guaranteed to make for some sore muscles.

The good news – depending on how you look at it – is that muscle soreness is perfectly normal. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the natural outcome of stressing muscle tissue beyond its usual usage. Muscles are made to deal with physical stress, but when we overdo it, especially when it’s a sudden and exponential increase in activity such as the physicality of dealing with storm prep and clean-up, our muscles will not be shy about letting us know we’ve gone beyond our normal limits.

Here are a few tips for minimizing the resulting soreness:

  • Stretch lightly after you’re done working
  • Warm up with lighter duty before you tackle the heavy stuff
  • Hydrate
  • Make sure you’re using correct form. Don’t forget to lift with your legs, not your back!
  • Try an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory for pain relief, such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Keep moving – gently. Go for an easy walk or a swim in the pool. Light exercise will help keep stiffness and soreness at bay
  • Apply warm, not hot, heat

Should you need a little extra help recovering or with a strained or sprained muscle, don’t hesitate to call us for a complimentary consultation. There’s no reason to suffer when some great physical therapy will get you back into your regular routine, pain-free.

Read more: 10 Tips to Help You Beat Those Sore Muscles from Yard Work.

We have an outstanding team of licensed physical therapists. If you are considering physical therapy, please call us for your complimentary consultation. We’re ready to get you back into pain-free living! 


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