Are there home remedies for sore muscles that really work? Do you want a quick remedy for sore muscles after workout or strenuous activity? Coping with sore muscles can really get you down desperately seeking fast relief. It is very normal to have sore muscles after workout, house work or any other strenuous activity. Before you pick that pain relieving pill, here are simple home remedies that can ease pain and relax muscles.
Anyone can get sore muscles and joint pain. Muscle soreness and pain is just a symptom of the stress that is placed on them. It is merely an adaptation that means your muscles are getting stronger and able to perform better. There are two types of muscle soreness:
- Acute muscle soreness – this happens shortly after workout or strenuous activity.
- Delayed onset muscle soreness – also referred to as DOMS, occurs after 24 hours after your workout or strenuous activity and may last up to 72 hours.
What causes muscle soreness? Accumulation of lactic acid is a consequence of vigorous exercise or strenuous activity. Lactic acid is a normal byproduct of muscle metabolism, but it can irritate muscles and cause discomfort and soreness.
Home Remedies for Sore Muscles
- 1 Home Remedies for Sore Muscles
- 2 Home Remedies for Sore Back Muscles
- 3 Natural Remedies for Sore Muscles
- 4 Homeopathic Remedies for Sore Muscles
Muscle soreness associated with exercise or vigorous activity can make it difficult to walk, reduce your strength, or make your life uncomfortable for a couple of days. Whatever the cause of your muscle pain, here is how to relax sore muscles at home.
According to webmd.com, ginger may act as a pain reliever and sooth aching sore muscles. Daily intake of raw or heated ginger reduces muscle pain by a great margin. It is a natural anti-inflammatory that improves circulation to relieve muscle pain.
- Make ginger tea by boiling a small piece of ginger in water for 10 minutes
- Strain out the pieces of ginger and ass some honey to taste
- Drink this tea three times daily to get rid of muscle soreness
- Alternatively, you can tie freshly grated ginger in a cotton bag, place it in water for a minute then apply it to the affected area to relieve pain fast. Do this several times a day
Ginger is available as a whole root or dried powder. The recommended daily dose is 2-4 grams per day. Ginger may cause stomach upsets, diarrhea and heartburn. Avoid taking ginger if you are on anticoagulation medication.
Turmeric is a natural spice with many anti-inflammatory benefits. Studies show that turmeric possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. Turmeric also improves blood circulation. According to Dr. Oz on 4 natural herbs for natural pain relief, the active ingredient in turmeric-curcumin lowers the levels of enzymes that cause inflammation in the body.
- Mix equal parts of grated turmeric with lemon juice and salt
- Apply the mixture to your sore muscles and leave it for 30 minutes
- Rinse off with water
- Repeat this twice daily to relieve the pain
- Alternatively, you can make a turmeric drink by adding one teaspoon of into milk, heat it over low flame and drink twice daily for muscle pain relief
Turmeric can also be found in supplement form.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Sore Muscles
Acetic acid in ACV can help relieve sore muscles when applied topically. It also has natural anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce pain and inflammation fast. There are two ways to use ACV to relieve sore aching muscles:
- Make an ACV bath by adding 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to lukewarm water and soak in it for as long as you would like. If muscle pain is localized, mix one egg with 2 tablespoons of ACV to make a liniment and rub it onto the aching muscle twice a day
- Alternatively, make pain relieving ACV drink by adding honey and a tablespoon of ACV into a glass of warm water. Drink this once daily for 5 days- this remedy is good for immediate sore muscle relief and for Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
Other ways in which you can use ACV for muscle relief is by applying a cloth dampened in ACV and cayenne pepper directly to the sore muscle for 5 minutes or taking ACV daily as a tonic before meals- mix 2 teaspoons of ACV with a glass of water and drink.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil offers numerous benefits for the skin. Scientists have discovered that EVOO can provide significant pain relief. New research suggests that olive oil contains a compound called oleocanthal that has the same properties as ibuprofen- by inhibiting COX- 1 and COX-2 enzymes. The amount of olive oil needed to relieve pain and inflammation is only 2 teaspoons per day.
- Take 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil per day or rub olive oil onto sore muscles and massage gently.
- Alternatively, make an EVOO drink by mixing 1 tablespoon of EVOO, juice from ½ a lime and a tablespoon of unsweetened pomegranate juice. This recipe has high levels of flavonoids which are excellent in reducing inflammation.
According to Dr. Weil on Olive oil for pain relief, not all olive oils contain oleocanthal. To confirm the presence of oleocantal in your olive oil, perform a taste test by swallowing. Olive oil with oleocanthal should trigger a stinging or irritating sensation in the throat.
Dandelion Oil for Relaxing Sore Muscle from Flu
Dandelions are always overlooked but top the list of effective home remedies for sore muscles. Dandelion flowers can be used to make oil which can be effectively massaged into joints and muscles to relax sore muscles from flu or intense work out.
- In a small jar with fresh dandelion flowers, pour in olive oil or almond oil to the top
- Cover with cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band
- Place the jar under warm sunny cover for 2 weeks or until the flowers have lost their color to brown
- Sieve the flowers out and store the oil in a cool dark place
- This oil can be stored in the refrigerator and used indefinitely for pain relief
- When needed, massage this oil to muscles and joints
Alternatively, make a cup of dandelion leaf tea by steeping a handful of fresh dandelion leaves in a cup of boiling water. Note that, dandelion is also a powerful laxative and you SHOULD NOT take too many leaves at a time.
Epsom salt makes the best remedy for sore muscles after workout. This salt is made of the compound magnesium sulfate which helps to keep enzyme activity in the body regular. Magnesium sulfate is also a natural muscle relaxant which can easily be absorbed through the skin and pull excess fluids out of tissues reducing swelling and inflammation.
- Simply add a cup or two of Epsom salt in water
- Soak in this bath for as long as required to relieve pain
You can get the same results by topically applying magnesium oil onto sore muscles.
Home Remedies for Sore Back Muscles
Sore back muscles may be caused by doing heavy house work, a tough day at the gym or in degenerative conditions such as arthritis. There are home remedies for sore back muscles using oil and herbs that can easily penetrate skin and relieve muscle within. Here is how to relieve sore back muscle and pain,
Mustard oil is a great remedy for sore back muscles or pain due to tough work out. It has natural anti-inflammatory properties.
- Simply massage mustard oil onto sore back. Allow the oil to be absorbed into the skin. This may cause itchiness or warm sensations but it is normal to feel so
- Alternatively, mix 10 cloves of garlic with 4 tablespoons of mustard oil and roast them until brown. Allow the oil to cool then apply to the affected muscles. Avoid bathing for at least 3 hours so as not to scrap off the oil with water and soap. Do this once a day for 2 weeks
Mustard oil may cause burning and itchiness when applied on skin. Keep a cold washcloth nearby to treat symptoms.
WARNING: DO NOT consume mustard oil due to the high content of erucic acid.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
NSAIDS like aspirin and ibuprofen can help reduce pain from sore muscles. These drugs can be bought over the counter but should only be taken to relieve intense pain and bouts of muscles soreness. It is not advisable to take these medications on a consistent basis as they may cause ulcers, bleeding and other undesirable side effects.
Anti-inflammatory Gels and Creams for Sore Muscles after Workout
Gels and creams with anti-inflammatory activity can also help to alleviate pain after workout. These however, may not be as effective for underlying muscle soreness therefore not the best option when it comes to sore muscle treatment.
Natural Remedies for Sore Muscles
Sore muscle pain usually appears within 12- 48 hours after the vigorous activity. It may range from a minor ailment to making it hard for you to perform your daily activities. Muscle pain is very common and it can occur in any part of the body. Although muscle pain can be severe and keep you from doing other activities, you should try to exercise even more as this may help you alleviate common muscle tenderness in the future. Here are some natural remedies for sore muscles that you can use to relax muscles and reduce pain fast.
Resting the sore muscles is the most effective way to avoid feeling more pain from sore muscles. Rest is often overlooked while it is key- the body needs it to rebuild and repairitself. During the resting or recovery period you should not exert more than 50% of the level of effort that caused you the specific muscle to be sore. Try doing a different set of light exercise during the recovery period just enough to stimulate blood flow to the muscles to help relieve pain. This can be a light jog, swimming or walking.
According to bodybuilding.com on everything you need to know about sore muscles, “If you have to train on a daily basis, then you should reduce the duration and intensity of exercise for 1-2 days following the exercise that caused the DOMS. You can also train less effected body parts to allow time for the body to recover.”
Massage to Treat a Sore Muscle
Studies have shown that getting a good massage after exercise may help relieve sore muscles. It may also help your muscles to recover, grow and become fitter faster. Massage reduces inflammation and also activates the creation of mitochondria– the energy producing cells in the body. The more the mitochondria, the more your muscles can extract oxygen. This helps the muscle to adapt to the demands of increased exercise.
A good massage can reduce the soreness related to pro-inflammatory cytokines. The only setback with this remedy is that getting a good massage from a professional masseur is more expensive than popping a pain relieving pill. To make this remedy available to those who cannot afford a session at the spa, the massage techniques can be taught within families.
Stretching Your Legs and Arms
Stretching sore muscles is an easy active way to relieve sore muscles and joints. When muscles are recovering, they tend to tighten up- this is what feels like pain and soreness at the slightest movement or activity. Gentle stretching will help relieve the muscle tightness and diffuse the pain. This is especially good for sore muscles in the legs after time on the track or calf muscle exercise.
It is always recommended that you stretch your muscle before and after work out. Before resting, try doing Pilates or simple gentle stretches of your own to relieve soreness. This will help to open a flow of oxygen into your muscles helping in fast recovery.
Cold treatment on sore muscles is an effective quick remedy for pain relief in the arms and shoulders after and intense session at the gym or track. Cold therapy works by numbing the local pain neurons cutting off pain reception. It also reduces local tissue temperature, inflammation and swelling. Using cold treatment on the site of tissue injury causes vasoconstriction of blood vessels reducing blood flow and release of inflammatory mediators.
Heat treatment can help improve the flow of blood to the affected muscles giving a soothing relief. Here is how to treat a sore muscle with heat,
Heated Wax Therapy
Using warm melted paraffin is another effective way to relieve sore muscle relief to hands, elbows and feet. Buy a heated contain form the drugstore it safely melts mineral oil and paraffin to make a paraffin bath. Simply dip the affected body part several times to build up a warm layer, cover it with a plastic wrap and a warm towel for 15 minutes until the wax cools. Unwrap and peel the wax away. Do not apply heated wax therapy to cuts or sore wounds.
You can also buy a heat wrap for low level heat treatment. It has been shown to significantly reduce muscle tightness and pain. Heat wraps can be worn for up to 8 hours even while you sleeping.
To make a homemade heat wrap, for fast sore muscle relief in the neck, fill a soak with uncooked rice and tie it off at the end. Warm it in the microwave for a minute and use it as a heat wrap. You can reuse this as many times as possible just the soak might change color or get torn.
Warm Bath Relaxes Muscles
Alternatively, you can try a warm shower before you get to exercise to loosen tight muscles and joints. Heat improves blood flow to the muscles helping to get rid of muscle soreness. After exercise, use cool water to calm burning sensation and reduce inflammation.
Drinking enough water while working out and after can flush out toxins and also help your muscles to repair. Dehydration can make sore muscle worse and can even cause muscle cramps.
Eating a balanced diet may help reduce muscle soreness. A deficiency in some electrolytes and minerals like potassium which is essential for muscle contractions worsens muscle soreness. A balanced diet may help you heal faster and deal better.
If you always feel sore after work out, it might help to add some anti-inflammatory foods in your diet. Foods rich in antioxidants, vitamin A and C can help reduce muscle soreness. Here are foods with anti-inflammatory properties:
- Red pepper
- Tart cherry juice
Homeopathic Remedies for Sore Muscles
The use of homeopathy can also offer sore muscle relief.
Arnica Montana– this is a homeopathic medicine that comes from the arnica flower with properties that reduces swelling and muscle pain. It comes in both gel and tablet form and can be used 3- 4 times a day. The gel comes in handy for localized muscle soreness while tablets can be taken when there is general muscle aches. It is also inexpensive.
Other homeopathic medicines that can be used to relieve muscle and joint pains include:
- Rhus Toxicodendron
- Cuprum Metallicum
- Bryonia 6C
Homeopathic remedies are cheap and effective ways to relieve muscle. They have no side effects and come in handy when other home remedies cannot suffice.
Home remedies for sore muscles are inexpensive ways to get rid of muscle soreness on your own. If you are an athlete, weight lifter or engaging in the daily strenuous activities, combination of stretches, massage, rest, balanced diet and adequate hydration should be part of your routine to help relieve soreness and prevent injury to muscles in the future. However, if your muscles ache constantly or you develop severe muscle cramps, visit a doctor for a better diagnosis and management.