Muscle cramps, pinched nerves, and spasms. These painful conditions affect every muscle group in the body at some stage of your life. Every day, thousands of people lose their quality of well-being to a muscular disorder or injury. Depending on the intensity of the pain, some people may seek out medical assistance for relief.
Visiting a doctor to cure your muscular issues often results in the physician prescribing muscle relaxants or painkillers. Abuse of prescription opioids, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, has become a national health epidemic in the United States. The half-life of these drugs results in their frequent administration to manage levels of pain.
When the pain subsides, some people experience the effects of withdrawal from these prescription painkillers. While some individuals fight off the body’s craving for more of the substance, others may end up in a downward spiral of addiction.
Choosing a natural alternative to these potentially dangerous drugs ensures that you won’t become addicted to any chemical substances after you cease your treatment. The next time you experience muscular pain, try a natural muscle relaxer instead of reaching for the medicine cabinet.
Here are 6 ways of relaxing your muscles without the use of drugs.
#1. Keep Moving
If you are dealing with a mild sprain or bruising, try some stretching to relieve the pain. Muscular inflammation makes your joints and muscles feel tight, reducing mobility. Light stretching improves blood flow to the affected area, lessening the symptoms of pain.
If you don’t keep the muscle or joint mobile, you can expect to experience stiffness after the injury has recovered. Adding in a few light stretches shortens the recovery window and improves mobility. Be careful when stretching injured muscles. Take your time with the stretch and stop if you feel any further pain.
#2. Avoid Bad Food Choices
The quality of your diet plays a significant role in muscular injuries such as spasms and tears. Eating a nutrient-dense diet reduces muscular tension and improves resistance to injury. If your food contains too many sources of refined carbohydrates, you can expect higher predisposition to muscular disorders and injuries.
Refined carbs increase levels of inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, preventing your muscular system from receiving the nutrition it needs to heal. Avoid inflammatory foods such as sugar and alcohol, and they’ll exacerbate any symptoms of pain and inflammation in the muscular system. Trans-saturated fatty acids found in fried fast foods also increase inflammation and reduce the ability of the immune system to heal your muscles.
Instead of eating these inflammatory foods, fill your diet with healthy fat sources. Monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and essential fatty acids, such as Omega-3, reduce inflammation and pain while enhancing the recovery and healing process.
#3. Use Essential Oils for Relief
Essential oils are a viable alternative to painkillers. The antioxidants found in herbs are extracted and concentrated into oils. Extracts remove the plant matter, leaving the valuable polyphenols unharmed.
Essential oils can be massaged into the skin for rapid absorption, or add a few drops to your bathwater to help you unwind and relieve the tension from the injury. Essential oils like lavender, peppermint, and tea tree have a therapeutic effect on your body and mind. Relax sore muscles and relieve headaches with a steaming hot bath enhanced with the healing power of essential oils.
#4. Soak in an Epsom Salt Bath
Depleted magnesium levels increase the intensity of the pain response in the body. Reduce the pain response by running yourself a bath and adding 4 tablespoons of Epsom salts to the water.
Your skin absorbs the magnesium from the Epsom salts, pulling the nutrient into your bloodstream. Epsom salts are so effective at delivering magnesium to the body that all it takes is soaking your feet in a basin if you don’t have a tub.
#5. Massage with Arnica Oil
Among the most frequently diagnosed sources of muscular pain are injuries to the neck and back. The chronic pain response experienced by these injuries is often debilitating and requires immediate attention to prevent further damage to the area.
Massaging the neck and back with Arnica oil will help to relieve pain quickly. Arnica has potent anti-inflammatory properties, making it ideal for sports-related muscle injuries in athletes.
#6. Visit Your Chiropractor
Injuries to the back and neck often result in limited range of motion and reduced mobility for the shoulders and hips as well. Visiting your chiropractor for an adjustment pops everything back into place, relieving tension and strains from muscles that are forced to overcompensate for the injury.