5 fast fixes for muscle pain

Muscle pain can stop you in your tracks, but with time and careful attention you can repair the damage safely. Try these five methods of treating muscle pain to get moving again.

5 fast fixes for muscle pain

1. Stretch and prop

  • For mild soreness, movement and light exercise are the right remedies
  • More severe pain is your body's signal to stop moving around or putting weight on an injured muscle
  • If you sense that your soreness is severe, stay off your feet or avoid using an injured arm for the first day or so
  • If you've injured a muscle in a hip or leg, keep it raised above groin level with pillows or folded blankets. This helps your body reabsorb fluid sent into the area and reduces swelling
  • Make sure an injured arm is supported, not hanging down, for the same reasons.

2. Use stick-on heating pads

  • Single-use heat wraps and patches that adhere to your skin or clothes at a sore spot are great for fast relief
  • Available in convenient shapes and sizes that fit particular high-ache areas perfectly
  • The chemicals inside warm up when the package is opened and they're exposed to air
  • The low-level heat is safe to use for up to eight hours, sometimes longer

3. Ice down painful strains and sprains

Cold compresses reduce swelling and inflammation and relieve pain. Good cold sources include:

  • a cold pack
  • .5-kilogram (one-pound) package of frozen corn or peas
  • several paper cups filled with a few inches of water in the freezer

If it's been less than 48 hours since your injury, rub the ice in a cup over the sore muscle or ice it down by wrapping the frozen veggies or cold pack in a clean kitchen towel and placing it over the area.

Apply for 10 minutes, remove for 10 minutes, then apply for another 10; this strategy helps protect older, thinner skin from being damaged by the ice. But skip the process if you have:

  • blood-flow issues
  • diabetes
  • Raynaud's syndrome
  • high sensitivity to cold

4. After two to three days, add homemade heat

Warmth relaxes tight, sore muscles and relieves pain.

  • Fill an old knee sock or long tube sock three-quarters full of raw white rice, tie off the open end tightly with a rubber band, and microwave it for two minutes
  • Lay it over a sore spot or use it to gently massage a healing muscle that feels tight
  • This do-it-yourself hot pack is reusable and works for muscle cramps as well
  • Add cinnamon sticks and cloves or dried lavender buds for a spicy scent

5. Soak it

  • Sink into a warm tub, Jacuzzi, or whirlpool
  • Add 15 drops of relaxing lavender essential oil or muscle-warming ginger essential oil to the water
  • Add in 120 grams (1/2 cup) of Epsom salts or Dead Sea salts
  • This is great for muscle cramps, too

This combination of heat, cold, rest and gentle exercise will help to put your muscle pain behind you. Give it time and don't push yourself. For persistent pain, consult your physician.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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