(Natural News) Everyone has experienced having sore and strained muscles after a hard day’s work. Instead of reaching for NSAIDs and other pharmaceutical drugs that cause adverse effects, switch to home remedies to alleviate mild or moderate muscle pain the natural way.
It is easy to identify the seriousness of the muscle strain. Pick the natural remedy that best relieves the symptoms of the problem.
Mild cases of muscle strain cause some discomfort and stiffness. The soreness lasts for a couple of days.
Moderate cases are usually due to the muscle getting small tears. Moderate muscle strain causes the area around the affected muscle to swell due to inflammation. This takes several weeks to heal.
Severe muscle strain is difficult to mistake for anything else. In addition to intense pain, the area around the injury becomes swollen and bruised.
The symptoms of severe muscle strain point to one thing: a ruptured muscle. While home remedies can help reduce the pain and swelling caused by muscle strain, it is best to seek professional help if you have severe muscle strain to receive proper treatment. (Related: Maintaining wellness: The importance of stretching and staying limber.)
Naturally treat muscle strain through rest, ice, compress, and elevation
The most common home remedies for muscle strains and sprains rely on rest, ice, compress, and elevation. R.I.C.E. makes for a convenient acronym to help you remember.
To encourage healing, make sure that the strained muscle gets a lot of rest. Avoid using that part as much as possible. Reducing the workload and stress on that injured muscle allows it to heal faster.
Remember to remain hydrated during the rest period. Drinking enough water supports the healing of injured muscles.
Wrap a towel around an ice pack and ice the injured area. Keep it there for 20 minutes before removing it. Wait an hour or so before repeating the treatment. Avoid putting the ice pack directly on the spot.
For moderate cases of muscle strain, reduce the swelling with a compress. Wrap bandages around the affected area but not too tightly. Make sure the area gets enough blood circulation or it will amplify the swelling.
Last but not least, elevate the injured area. Doing so when you sleep at night will help bring down the swelling if there’s any.
Other home remedies for sore and strained muscles
In addition to R.I.C.E., there are other pain-relieving home remedies for muscle strain. Adding Epsom salts and ordinary white vinegar to your bathwater can alleviate muscle soreness.
The magnesium in the salt will get absorbed through the skin and replenish the body’s supply. Meanwhile, the vinegar will draw lactic acid out of the muscles, reducing soreness.
The beneficial effects of an ice pack on swollen muscles can be increased with heat treatment. Once the swelling goes down, wrap a towel around a hot object and apply it to the injured area.
While people with muscle injuries must avoid putting more strain on their injured muscles, light to moderate levels of physical exercise will help. Simple stretching exercises, walking, or biking can help the body produce chemicals that induce physical and mental relaxation.
Like white vinegar, apple cider vinegar (ACV) also helps reduce muscle soreness. Soak a towel or bandage in ACV and wrap it around the affected area for 20 minutes.
Lastly, bananas and sweet potatoes have large amounts of potassium. Eating them can help protect muscles from cramps and soreness caused by potassium deficiency.