The very moment that muscle spasm kicks in, I undoubtedly know that I am going to need to relieve that pain as quickly as possible. The discomfort can feel unbearable at times, while other times it is mild and dull, but I know it is still there, and it puts me in a bad mood.
Muscle aches or spasms are also called myalgia and are instances where a person may feel pain in a specific area of their body. Unfortunately, one ache can lead to another, and it can feel as though your entire body is aching. Some muscle aches are mildly uncomfortable, but others can be quite severe and painful. These muscle spasms can last a short time, or they can be more consistent and last for long periods. Sadly, this can affect a person’s quality of life negatively. In this article, we are going to talk about natural muscle relaxers and how to use them to treat those painful and uncomfortable muscle spasms.
Put your feet up and relax
while you read through our natural muscle relaxing remedies.
Why Do People Make Use of Muscle Relaxers?
Muscle spasms are involuntary contractions that cause strain in the body’s muscles and trust me, they are pretty painful.
Muscle relaxers are used to relieve painful muscle spasms which can result from various conditions that affect the nervous system. These conditions include motor neuron disease, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and stress or injury. Muscle pain and tightness can also be the result of injuries to the head, back, or neck and they can also be caused by high levels of stress (yes, your boss really can be a pain in the neck).
When we are in stressful situations, our muscles tend to tense up. This is a natural reaction that the body uses to protect itself and often these muscles release again once you are relaxed. It is important to bear in mind, however, that if you are constantly under stress then your muscles may not get the opportunity to relax and this can lead to body aches as well as back and shoulder pain. Therefore, many people turn to muscle relaxers because they are not always awarded the opportunity to destress and need a remedy for their muscle pain.
Stress and anxiety can cause muscle twitching and spasms because they initiate the release of neurotransmitters from the nerves that are supplying the muscles. Anxiety also causes a person to hyperventilate, this quick breathing changes the ions concentration and pH levels in your body; this causes muscle spasms and twitching.
Evidence has shown that muscle relaxers can promote recovery by blocking the feeling of pain. In this way, you can get the rest you need to destress and help those muscles recover properly.
Avoiding Conventional Muscle Relaxers
The most common way to alleviate mild to moderate muscle pain for most people is to take an over the counter muscle relaxer to numb the pain. Unfortunately, this is a temporary solution that may offer harmful side-effects.
It is important to understand how these drugs work. These drugs do not heal the source of the pain, instead, they interfere with the communication between your nervous system and your brain. The problem with this is that your whole body ends up being affected by the drug and its effects reach far beyond the source of the problem. This can cause “brain fog” which can lead to injuries if you are engaging in physical activities. Your boss may also not appreciate your clouded concentration or possible drowsiness. It may just be better to stay at home and relax.
Side Effects of Conventional Muscle Relaxers
- Liver and kidney problems
- Stomach Ulcers
- Allergic Reactions
- Impaired concentration
The Effects of Nutrient Deficiency on Our Muscles
If you are lacking certain minerals, vitamins, and nutrients in your diet, then it can alter your body functions and metabolic processes right down to the cellular level. The deficiencies are linked to conditions of pain, inflammation, and illness and can directly affect our muscles too.
Let’s take a look at some nutritional deficiencies and their effect on our muscles:
Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body and is used in over 300 biochemical reactions. It is needed for protein synthesis, energy production, blood pressure regulation, and muscle and nerve function.
Some of the symptoms related to magnesium deficiency include:
- Muscle cramps, especially in the legs or feet.
- Muscle twitches.
- Muscle tightness or aches.
- Restless legs, tingling, and numbness.
Consume dark leafy greens, seeds, fish, nuts, whole grains, avocados, bananas, and beans. They are all rich sources of magnesium.
Calcium is important for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, but it also controls your muscle and nerve function.
Some of the symptoms related to calcium deficiency include:
- Muscle aches and cramps.
- Pain in the thighs and arms and underarms when moving.
- Numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, feet, legs, and around the mouth.
Make sure you are getting at least 9 servings of vegetables a day, especially those dark leafy green veggies you may be avoiding.
Vitamin E Deficiency
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory and it is commonly used for musculoskeletal pain relief. If you are lacking this vitamin in your diet, then it can cause the following:
- Muscle and nerve damage which can result in a loss of feeling your arms and legs
- Muscle weakness
- Vision problems
- Weakened immunity
Include sunflower seeds, spinach, red peppers, mangoes, avocados, almonds, fish, and asparagus in your diet to get more Vitamin E.
If in doubt you can always add a NON-GMO multivitamin and mineral supplement to your daily regime to ensure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need.
To find only the best Multivitamins to use
10 Natural Muscle Relaxers and How to Use Them
Not all muscle relaxers are topical ointments, creams, and rubs, and while we will share some natural topical applications, there are some foods that you can eat that will offer the same healing and pain-relieving effect.
Natural Food Sources
Chamomile is an ancient and trusted herb that is universally used to treat many ailments including muscle spasms. Chamomile contains flavonoids that have several anti-inflammatory properties. You can drink chamomile as a tea to relax sore muscles. Chamomile essential oil can also be applied topically to the affected muscle areas to provide spasm relief.
Remember, essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin. Rather add a few drops to a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil, and then apply the mixture to the affected area.
Cherry juice is used to combat inflammation and muscle pain. Studies have revealed that drinking cherry juice can even minimize post-run pain in marathon runners. The fruit contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities to assist in relaxing muscles naturally.
Another natural way to relax your muscles is by eating blueberries. Many people turn to a blueberry smoothie before and after exercise to help accelerate recovery from muscle damage. Blueberries have strong antioxidant powers, and studies have shown that they can decrease oxidative stress and inflammation.
Capsaicin is a substance found in cayenne pepper. It is a natural muscle relaxant often used by people who suffer from fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. It can be added to many dishes and can also be found in a capsule form or as a topical cream. The cream should be applied to the areas that are affected by muscle spasms to assist with pain relief.
Researchers have found that Vitamin D deficiencies are common in those who suffer from chronic pain, fatigue, and muscle aches.
If you have regular muscle pain or spasms you may be deficient in vitamin D. This vitamin comes in many forms and can be found in liquids, tablets, capsules, and foods such as eggs, fish, and fortified milk.
The best way to increase your levels of Vitamin D is to spend 20-30 minutes in the sun every day with exposed arms and legs.
Turmeric contains a substance called curcumin that has a wonderful ability to control inflammation and assist in relieving muscle aches and pains. Curcumin is one of the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds in the world and can be added to your daily meals or purchased as a supplement.
Resveratrol can be found in more than 70 species of plants and is a stilbenoid, which is a naturally occurring phenol and a phytoalexin. Plants make resveratrol to fight fungal and bacterial infections as well as to fight ultraviolet radiation, injury, and stress.
This powerful antioxidant contains anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation as well as damage around the joints that can lead to pain and discomfort. The polyphenolic compound found in resveratrol can even assist to repair tissue that is damaged due to knee osteoarthritis.
It is commonly found in the skin of red grapes, but you can also find it in peanuts and berries, oh and red wine too!
For more information on the healing benefits of resveratrol, click here.
Natural Topical Muscle Relaxers
Peppermint oil is extremely popular amongst athletes for its effectiveness in soothing sore muscles and getting rid of tension headaches. Peppermint oil contains menthol which offers a cooling effect for sore muscles. Menthol also has antispasmodic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Other essential oils that are beneficial for use in pain relief include:
- Lemongrass oil
- Cypress oil
All the essential oils above help improve circulation and alleviate muscle spasms, tension, and inflammation.
Epsom salt is easy to come by and is an excellent and natural way in which to alleviate sore muscles. Epson salts are rich in magnesium, and a cup of these salts can be added to your bath to help alleviate stress and sore muscles. Epsom salts can also offer an array of other benefits such as eliminating toxins from the body and relieving constipation.
Arnica oil is derived from a flowering plant and is extremely beneficial when it comes to pain relief. Arnica contains thymol, which is an effective vasodilator of blood capillaries and helps to assist the body to transport blood and stimulate the flow of white blood cells in order to move trapped fluid accumulations that can cause inflammation. Arnica is available as an oil, cream, salve, or ointment and can be applied topically to reduce pain and inflammation and increase the body’s healing rate.
Fight Muscle Pain the Natural Way!
There are several ways to treat and alleviate tense and painful muscles naturally, but the best remedy of all is to try and eliminate the stress on your body, both physically and mentally.
Unfortunately, our modern ways of work and living increase our stress levels and anxiety, but it is important to take a valuable “time-out” for yourself.
Pick up a book, meditate, do some yoga, or try to get in some extra sleep at night. Sleep helps our bodies recharge and will give your muscles the opportunity they need to rest.
Otherwise, you can lie in a warm bath and pour yourself a glass of resveratrol-rich red wine. This is my personal favorite!
Until Next Time