Ginger has been used throughout history as both a culinary herb and a medicinal agent. Ginger has gained attention in the United States because of its effect on motion sickness, nausea, as an aid in digestion, and its anti-rheumatic and anti-inflammatory effects.
When pain presents itself, one’s first instinct is to find relief from the pain. And while pain is the number one reason why people seek medical advice, it is interesting to note that everyone is an individual in regard to their own personal relationship to pain. Regardless of how one measures pain, it has a tremendous impact on society as a whole and is the reason for millions of lost work hours and, most importantly, a poor quality of life. Pain is usually divided into two categories – acute and chronic. Acute pain is the type that comes on suddenly when a tissue has been injured. Chronic pain can be, among other things, chronic lower-back pain, chronic headaches, cancer pain, or phantom limb pain. Chronic pain is generally associated with a chronic disease and lacks a clear cause. This is pain that exists past the normal expected healing time.
Exercise is physical activity that is planned or structured. It involves repetitive bodily movement done to improve or maintain physical fitness and overall health. Frequent and regular physical exercise boosts the immune system, and helps prevent diseases such as heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. It also improves mental health and helps prevent depression. Categories of physical exercise would be aerobic exercise, anaerobic exercise, strength training and agility training. More and more research is suggesting that exercise is extremely important for your overall health and well-being.
Researchers at the University of Georgia performed 2 studies to examine the effects of daily ginger (raw and heated) consumption on muscle pain. The studies were identical double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized experiments conducted for eleven consecutive days involving 34 and 40 participants. The subjects in study 1 consumed 2 grams of raw ginger or placebo while subjects in study 2 consumed 2 grams of heated ginger or placebo. The participants performed 18 extensions of the elbow flexors with a heavy weight to induce moderate muscle injury to the arm. Both studies showed a 25 percent reduction in exercise induced pain by daily supplementation of ginger in comparison to placebo. In conclusion the researchers stated that these results agree with other studies demonstrating ginger is effective in reducing pain.1
1 Black CD, Herring MP, Hurley DJ, et al. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Reduces Muscle Pain Caused by Eccentric Exercise. J Pain. 2010.