Are you experiencing muscle aches and pains? One possibility is that you are suffering from DOMS or delayed-onset muscle soreness. Other causes of muscle aches and pains could be infections, muscle tears, arthritis, conditions of the joints, or even a pulled muscle. While some of these ailments may require attention from a doctor or physical therapist, you can treat others at home. Here are five ways to soothe muscle aches and pains.
Icing has been used for decades to ease the discomfort of soft tissue injuries such as muscle aches and pains. Icing can reduce muscle spasm pain and stiffness. However, you should never apply ice, or any form of cold application such as ice packs, directly to the skin because the long-term application could cause frostbite or other types of cold damage, especially the longer you leave it to treat the injury.
What you need to do is to put an ice pack or cold compress on the affected area, but only for about fifteen minutes. Then it’s best to remove the compress, allowing the area to warm up again before the next application. This process can be repeated about four times in one hour, every fifteen minutes, or as you might feel is necessary.
Conversely, heating your muscles can ease the pain of muscle aches and pains caused by conditions such as arthritis or tendonitis. Heat increases blood flow to the body’s tissues, which helps to relax your muscles and thereby reduce aches and pains. Many people with these conditions find that heat applied in a heating pad, hot water bottle, heat lamp, or warm compress is very soothing. You should not use heat if you have an open wound, however. Nor should you apply extreme heat to your skin, as all you’ll be doing is risking burning yourself.
A popular form of treatment is to combine the two methods, alternating between hot and cold. The process of decreasing blood flow and then increasing it can help reduce inflammation and then allow your muscles to relax. As always, it’s important to remember to use some form of barrier between the heat and cold, never applying either directly to your skin.
Topical Ointments and Creams
There are many topical remedies that can help in relieving muscle pain. These products help to relieve pain by causing the skin to feel cool and then warm, much like a regular ice and heat treatment only in the convenience of one product you simply apply. This is normally done through products that contain menthol, which is the cause of tricking your body to focus on a counterirritant rather than the muscle pain you’re dealing with.
Other methods of pain relief products use other forms of ingredients, such as Salicylates, which can be found in aspirin, Prescription NSAIDs, also known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which are known for being effective pain relievers, or Lidocaine, which numbs the area that’s experiencing pain. Another common ingredient is capsaicin, the chemical found in most chili peppers and spicy food which is responsible for the heat you feel when eating spicy food.
Beyond these more common remedies, other products will try to find new ways to treat pain, such as applying oxygen to the problem area. Oxygen has been shown to help in the healing process of the body already, so applying it in a topical gel, such as the products that can be found with Derm Creations, is another avenue of allowing another method of pain relief to remove the soreness and pain one might be feeling in their muscles, joints, or injuries such as sprains.
Taking time for self-care is important when trying to recover from an injury or condition that causes muscle pain and stiffness. One of the ways you can treat muscle aches and pains is by taking a warm bath (or shower). In the bathtub, make sure that the water isn’t too deep. This can put excess strain on your muscles and cause pain.
The perfect temperature is one where you can barely feel a little resistance from the water if you were to stick a hand into it – this means that it’s about 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Soaking in a hot bath can ease the pain of conditions such as arthritis by increasing blood flow to the affected area. It also works well to soothe a pulled muscle.
Some teas can be very soothing for people suffering from muscle aches and pains. Chamomile tea is especially useful since it can relax your muscles. You will want to drink this type of tea several times a day if you are in pain. Peppermint tea can also be helpful when you have a fever or have been injured in some way since it will help soothe the symptoms.
With these five easy ways to soothe muscle aches and pains, you will be able to deal with your conditions as they come up naturally. If the pain becomes unbearable or you begin to feel sick, it is best to seek help from a doctor or physical therapist who can run tests and prescribe medication if necessary.