How to Care for Sore Joints and Muscles
Are you suffering from throbbing pain in your joints and muscles? Most of us have had to deal with aching muscles and joints, especially as we age, at one point or another. In the most cases, the causes of sore muscles and joints can be related to either their underuse or overwork.
Major causes of a muscle pain
According to Mayo Clinic, the most common reason for a muscle pain in legs, thighs, back, and arms is a cramp. A cramp can be defined as a severe, painful contraction or muscle stiffness that appears suddenly and may last from several seconds to a few minutes. Muscle cramps and the accompanying pain may appear because of such causes:
- Overuse, prolonged physical activity, or exercises;
- Injuries and traumas;
- The problems with blood flow;
- A lack of essential nutrients and vitamins like magnesium, potassium, and calcium;
- Certain medications.
Major causes of a joint pain
Joints connect the bones and muscles, providing their support during movements. Damage to the joints from traumas and diseases can cause pain. According to WebMD, the painful joints can be caused by such factors as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis;
- Sprains, and other injuries.
Joint and muscle pain can affect any part of your body including knee, shoulder, thigh, and leg pains. As you get older, you may get joint pains more frequently. Usually, joint and muscle pains can vary from mild with bearable discomfort to severe with an inability to move. In most cases, pain in muscles and joints can last from a few days (acute) or several months (chronic). You can choose several ways to treat joint pain and muscle cramps, including over-the-counter (OTC) prescription medications and natural remedies.
Muscle pain treatment at home
One of the expert tips for people who want to prevent muscle and joint pain caused by excess physical activity is to stretch thoroughly before doing exercises. If you already have sore joints and muscles, with mild-to-moderate pain, you may try using the following natural remedies:
Heat or cold therapy
For different types of joint and muscle pains, the use of cold or heat compresses/baths can be very helpful. For example, to relieve shoulder muscle pain you may take a warm shower or bath. To reduce bruising and inflammation in sore joints and muscles, consider applying an ice pack to the affected area for 20 minutes.
Epsom salt and magnesium oil baths
For a relief of pain caused by aching muscles or joints, you can try taking a warm (not hot) bath with 2 cups of Epsom salts. This natural remedy for leg cramps and torso cramps can be done for 15 minutes and repeated up to 3 times a week. After taking a bath, you can rub the affected area with magnesium oil, which may work as a natural muscle relaxant.
However, keep in mind that Epsom salts can be dangerous for people with heart problems, diabetes, and hypertension.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
ACV is considered an ultimate home remedy capable treating many disorders, including sore muscles and leg cramps. The most common recipe for relief is drinking a mixture of 1 glass of distilled water with 1 tablespoon of ACV daily. Alternatively, you can rub some ACV directly on the affected area. Another popular recipe is sipping a mixture of 1 teaspoon of honey, 2 teaspoons of ACV, 10 ounces of cold water, and a sprig of fresh mint.
Having similar properties to ACV, coconut oil is also one of the most helpful home remedies for leg cramps and sore muscles. You can use 3 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil in cooking daily. Some people use this oil as a moisturizer of body and hair.
Rubs with hot pepper
Most hot peppers contain capsaicin, which is believed to be an effective arthritis remedy. Also, hot peppers may help in relieving joint pain. Try rubbing the affected area with a mixture of a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper with 1 cup of virgin olive oil or warm coconut oil.
Tart cherry juice
A recent study posted in the British Journal of Sports Medicine states that the daily intake of tart cherry juice may improve muscle strength and decrease the painful sensations. Some of the study’s participants claim to have significant muscle pain reduction within 24 hours after drinking cherry juice. Consider drinking 2-3 glasses of tart cherry juice throughout the day.
Dietary tips for a muscle and joint pain relief
To prevent chronic muscle pain, you can try changing your diet by adding to it:
- Omega-3 fatty acids – cold-water fish, Chia seeds, and walnuts that can reduce the inflammation and speed up the healing process;
- Fresh fruits and vegetables that are loaded with antioxidants capable of reducing swelling;
- Foods rich in Vitamin C that may provide quicker muscle inflammation relief.
Consider avoiding processed foods, sweets, and trans-fats which can worsen the inflammation in sore joints and muscles.
Essential supplements for joints and muscles
Additionally, you may consider taking certain supplements that can help in preventing the painful sensations:
- Calcium – can be absorbed through food or supplements. Natural sources of calcium are dairy products, dark leafy greens, and almonds;
- Vitamin D – one of the essential vitamins for joint pain relief. You can absorb it through supplements, certain foods (eggs, fish) and directly from the sunlight;
- Glucosamine – can work as a good natural protection for bones and joints. You can consume it as a supplement or through a bone broth.
Consider visiting a doctor if you have chronic muscle pain that lasts more than 2 weeks and is not relieved with the help of painkillers or natural remedies.