From a stiff neck to an overworked back, the body possesses an intricate system of muscles that endures their fair share of aches and pains. In some cases, muscle pain is a minor annoyance that often comes after overexertion during an activity. However, some people battle constant muscle pains that only regular treatment and good ol’ fashioned home remedies can soothe.
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Causes and Symptoms
Muscle aches and pains are a common complaint that can involve more than one muscle. Other parts of the body can also contribute to your issues, and may include ligaments, tendons, and the soft tissues that connect muscles, bones, and organs together. Muscle pain often surfaces due to tension, overuse, or muscle injury from exercise or work that is physically demanding.
Painful muscles can also signify medical conditions, such as infections, lupus and the flu. There are also conditions that specifically attack the muscles, such as fibromyalgia, which causes tenderness in the muscles and surrounding soft tissue. Other common causes include:
• ACE inhibitors for lowering blood pressure
• Imbalance in electrolytes (too little potassium or calcium)
• Statins for lowering cholesterol
• Lyme disease
• Cocaine use
Muscle Pain Home Remedies
Push yourself a little too hard on the treadmill or overexert any part of the body, and you could face excruciating pain in your muscles. Pain can come right after you finish an activity or hit you like a ton of bricks in the morning. Home remedies for muscle pain provide a nice alternative for people hesitant to use drugs to solve their medical issues. A few suggestions include:
a) Cold Shower or Bath:
Overworked muscles respond well to a cold shower or bath, which eases the damage produced through overuse. After a hard run, icing down muscles may help prevent soreness and stiffness. It is suggested to apply cold packs for about 30 minutes every hour for the first 24 to 72 hours after activity.
To reduce the swelling of strained muscles, a couple of rosemary leaves can help. Fresh and dried rosemary leaves contain four anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe inflamed muscle tissue and speed up the healing process. Soak a cloth in a wash made out of rosemary, which easily absorbs into the skin. Add one ounce of rosemary leaves to a 1-pint jar. Add boiling water to the jar. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Use the wash two or three times a day.
c) No Heat:
Heating pads and hot water bottles can do more damage than good for sore muscles, as heat dilates blood vessels and increases circulation to the area. This is not a good thing, as it causes swelling to actually increase.
Combat sore muscles after a hard workout by stretching. A good warm-up and cool-down is to take a 20-minute walk.
e) Dry Beans:
Place a couple of handfuls of dry beans into an old sock. Microwave the sock with beans inside on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Allow the contents of the sock to cool for a minute, and then apply to painful muscles .
Sip warm soup before engaging in activities to help prevent muscle pain brought on my cramping. It’s suggested to drink one cup of beef or chicken bouillon, which also helps replenish depleted sodium lost from excess sweat.
g) Epsom Salts:
Soak in a hot bath filled with two cups of Epsom salts. With a high content of magnesium that easily absorbs through the skin, you can encourage the healing of torn muscles, as well as ease painful swelling. It is recommended to wait at least 24 hours before trying this home remedy.
h) Ice, then Heat:
Applying ice for the first 24 to 72 hours to injured muscles can help lessen pain and inflammation. Following this regimen, heat provides a soothing aftercare measure.
i) Apple Cider Vinegar:
Soak in a tub filled with lukewarm water and two cups of apple cider vinegar, which is an effective method of soothing muscle aches and pains.
j) Get Your Zzz’s:
Heal your sore muscles faster by getting plenty of sleep. If you are having trouble falling asleep because of the pain, consider using relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga, to encourage a restful night.
If you own a swimming pool, one of the best home remedies for painful muscles is to soak in cold water. Taking a dip in your pool helps reduce inflammation. Swimming also stretches out your muscles, which alleviates pain.
Gentle massage can soothe muscle pain.
If you suffer from muscle pain caused by cramping, consume one to two bananas on a daily basis. Bananas deliver a healthy dose of potassium. According to the American Dietetic Association, an adult should receive about 2,000 milligrams of potassium a day. One banana contains 450 milligrams.
Fight and prevent muscle pain with calcium. Keep in mind that drinking three glasses of milk a day meets the calcium needs of most adults.
Avoid muscle pain by replenishing the water lost during exercise. When your muscles do not receive vital fluids during a workout, the results are painful – usually coming in the form of a cramp. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after activities that cause your body to sweat.
 Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest; pg. 82