Regular physical activity and exercise are necessary for good health. However, not everyone has the luxury of time to go to the gym every day. Most of the time, weekends and holidays provide the only opportunity to engage in an active lifestyle. Unfortunately, regardless of how much you want to enjoy physical activities, muscle pain and soreness often get in the way.
The natural causes of muscle soreness
Sore muscles are a natural side effect of any rigorous physical activity. If you work out, play sports or work around the house for hours, you will get some amount of muscle pain. It is more evident when:
- You increase your workout intensity level
- Engage in strenuous physical activity for the first time, like running a marathon
- Do exercises that stretch your muscles such as bicep curls
Sudden changes in physical exertion will result in small injuries and tears in your muscle fibres. You will usually start to feel soreness a day after. If you engage in the same activity regularly, your muscles will begin to adjust and get used to the exertion, and you will feel less muscle soreness later on.
Managing pain and muscle soreness
Before you reach out for the bottle of pain relievers, consider managing your pain the natural way. For immediate pain relief, doctors will often recommend adding a cold compress over the affected area. Applying a hot compress after icing the injury will also help increase blood flow and reduce joint pain.
Although over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen will certainly ease discomfort temporarily, doctors do not recommend taking them too often as long-term dependence on these medications may interfere with your muscles capability to heal naturally.
Natural remedies for muscle pain
There are many known natural remedies for muscle pain which do not cause the same side effects as medication. In addition to using a hot and cold compress, the following options may also help:
- Turmeric drink. Turmeric shots are making waves in the health and wellness industry because of many research findings affirming the anti-inflammatory properties of this plant-based supplement. Turmeric is a common spice used in cooking Indian curries. Turmeric contains Curcumin, which according to studies, may help reduce inflammation. Many athletes today drink turmeric as a natural remedy for muscle soreness and pain. Despite the many supposed turmeric benefits, it is always best to consult your doctor before taking it as a regular supplement.
- Epsom salt soak. Another traditional natural remedy for sore muscles and joint pain is Epsom salts. Since this type of salt is high in magnesium, soaking the affected area in an Epsom salt solution will help the body absorb these minerals which aid in muscle relaxation and reducing inflammation.
- Diet modification. Long-term muscle pain may be reduced by changing your diet. Eating food rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vegetables, and fruits will supply your body with anti-oxidants. As much as possible, refrain from eating processed food, fats, and sugars which worsen inflammation and joint pain.
In addition to these natural remedies, you also need to increase your physical activity and make it a regular habit to exercise so that your joints and muscles will adjust to the movement, increase your flexibility and improve your overall health and fitness.
To read more on topics like this, check out the lifestyle category.