Muscle pain, also known as myalgia, is not new to fitness buffs. Spending long hours training at the gym can lead to microtrauma to the muscles as a result of overuse. Although the pain means that you have pumped your muscles hard enough, it can also render you incapable of doing daily tasks for a brief period of time.
Massaging your painful and sore muscles can help soothe the achiness. However, it’s encouraging to know that there are alternative remedies you can try as well if you suffer from painful muscles. These alternative remedies go beyond the usual administration of analgesics like paracetamol, mefenamic acid, naproxen, or ibuprofen to alleviate muscle pain. Some examples of these are:
A compression machine is a handy tool to ease muscle soreness and fatigue after an intense physical activity. It comes in various lengths and cuff sizes. The machine generates an adjustable cuff pressure via a wearable cuff that inflates and deflates to provide muscle relaxation, improve blood circulation, and release lactic acid from the muscles.
This treatment stems from the belief of 16th-century Chinese doctors that pain is caused by the imbalance of energy in a person’s body. Stainless steel needles are used to stimulate your body’s energy-carrying channels, all 14 of them, to correct imbalances. Aside from balancing energy flow throughout the body, it also increases blood flow and enhances the production of natural painkillers known as endorphins.
Stress can make myalgia symptoms worse and yoga happens to be a great antidote to stress. It also involves a lot of stretching, which can improve circulation and decrease inflammation.
Alternative Treatments for Muscle Pain
Aside from the methods mentioned above, proper diet is likewise suggested if you want to manage muscle pain. At the same time, there are certain natural remedies you can try to soothe your aching muscles. These include:
Chamomile doesn’t only contain high quantities of zinc, selenium, and other minerals that work together to enhance the immune system. It also has soothing and calming properties that can greatly relieve muscle pain.
Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, a natural pain reliever, and is being used as an active ingredient in most ointments and lotions. A body chemical called substance P is present in capsaicin and when the amount of substance P decreases (provided cayenne pepper/capsaicin was applied to the affected area), the pain subsides together with it. The pain-reducing property of cayenne pepper makes it a very useful herb in treating myalgia.
Calendula is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent with active compounds known to relieve inflammation and pain by bringing down the swelling of the nerves. That’s why calendula is recommended as an herbal remedy for myalgia. Take calendula tea two to three times a day to relieve the symptoms.
Ginger is considered one of the top healing herbs produced by nature. Aside from serving its purpose as one of the spices in most Asian cuisines, ginger root is a great medicinal herb as well since it contains natural anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, it can naturally reduce and soothe muscle pain.
Relieve Symptoms of Muscle Pain at Home
They say prevention is better than cure. Hence, to prevent muscle pain from getting worse, do these tried and tested home treatments:
Soak up the sun
Vitamin D, known to everyone as the sunshine vitamin, actually has some effect on muscle and nerve functions. So make sure to soak up the sun if you want to relieve yourself of muscle pain.
Sweat it out
Experiencing muscle pains doesn’t mean that you have to lay off exercise completely. Instead of doing high-impact routines, opt for low-impact ones such as yoga, swimming, and tai chi.
Get better sleep
Muscle pain might disturb your sleep pattern. In order to achieve better sleep quality, you should adopt good sleeping habits. Avoid foods, beverages, and activities that can keep you up until late at night, and instead, try going to bed early and waking up at the same time every day. Make sure that your room is comfortable. Keep the room temperature moderated, dim the lights down, and reduce sources of noise.
If your muscle pain is caused by overuse, you need to do something to help your body heal the microtrauma in your soft tissues faster. It helps to incorporate protein-rich foods into your diet such as beans, seafood, lean meat, soy, and eggs as protein is known to aid tissue building and repair. Omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory property that can help in relieving muscle inflammation so you might want to eat a healthy dose of salmon, sardines, and walnuts as well.
Your muscles are composed of 70% water. Keep them well hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of fluids during and after your workouts to enhance your recovery. Keep in mind that dehydrated muscles are more prone to injuries which can lead to muscle pain.
Massage isn’t the end-all and be-all of muscle pain relief. There are other ways to soothe painful muscles and none of which are too complicated to follow through. Keep these list of remedies in mind if you want an alternative way to manage painful muscles.
By: Joe Fleming
Joe Fleming is the President at ViveHealth.com. Interested in all things related to living a healthy lifestyle, he enjoys sharing and expressing his passion through writing. Working to motivate others and defeat aging stereotypes, Joe uses his writing to help all people overcome the obstacles of life. Covering topics that range from physical health, wellness, and aging all the way to social, news, and inspirational pieces…the goal is help others “rebel against age”.