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Sore muscles are not bad, but they can be quite painful. Various home remedies are a great way to deal with the pain. After a week at the latest, however, the muscle should have recovered without any further measures. Sore muscles usually appear on the following day after an unfamiliar or excessive exercise. This primarily affects the muscle groups that have rarely or never been trained. The reason for the pain is the smallest of injuries that occur when the muscles or the fibrils are overused. Home remedies can help preventively as well as afterwards.
To avoid sore muscles at all, the following home remedies and tips can help. Exercise should never be started "cold", which means that a gentle warm-up is a good way to counteract the annoying muscle pain. Before jogging, for example, you start with walking and then with light running, in the fitness studio the elliptical machine is used at an easy level before the strength exercises.
Regular exercise does not necessarily protect you from sore muscles. Nevertheless, it is a suitable means to keep the muscles trained and as a result not get any pain after exercising.
Schüssler salts to prevent muscle pain
Muscles in motion need magnesium. If this is not sufficiently available, the risk of sore muscles increases. Accordingly, if the mineral is taken before exercise, it is a good home remedy for sore muscles. We recommend the Schüssler Salt No. 7, Magnesium phosphoricum. This is particularly intense when it is taken in the form of a so-called "hot sieve".Preparation of a "hot seven":
- Put tablets of ten tablets of salt No. 7 in a beaker
- Pour 200 ml of boiled, hot water over them
- Stir with a plastic spoon until the tablets are completely dissolved
- Drink the drink as hot as possible in small sips
Important: Do not use a metal spoon when stirring, as this changes the effect of the salts. Keep the solution in your mouth for as long as possible with each sip before swallowing it. The active ingredients of the Schüssler salts can be absorbed through the oral mucosa and then transported via the bloodstream to the affected areas in the body.
We also recommend Schüssler Salt No. 3, Ferrum phosphoricum. This is very similar to the homeopathic remedy arnica. Ingested before exercising, the salt can protect against unwanted sore muscles. With Schüssler ointments and creams, the salts can also be used externally. If, for example, the muscles are rubbed in with a combination of ointments No. 7 and No. 3 before a long hike, they are well equipped for the upcoming stress.
Stretching and loosening exercises
The muscles should never be stretched when cold, but only when they have warmed up a bit. For a long time, stretching after sport was considered a preventive measure. However, this is increasingly discouraged. From many experts' point of view, loosening exercises are much more effective to prevent sore muscles. Especially when the smallest injuries have occurred in the muscle, stretching can make them even worse.
Proper clothing can prevent sore muscles
Under no circumstances should muscles freeze. On the contrary, they should always be kept warm. Accordingly, the right clothing is a simple home remedy for sore muscles. However, this should never be too warm. Functional clothing transports sweat away from the skin so that there is no chills. The “onion look”, in which several thin layers of clothing are worn on top of each other, has proven its worth. If the jogger freezes a little while walking, he is properly dressed.
Prevention through tea tree oil
A mixture of a tablespoon of almond, olive or sesame oil with two to three drops of tea tree oil is a great way to protect yourself from sore muscles. With this oil mixture, the muscles are massaged before the sport.
Help with sore muscles
If the preventive measures have not helped, a number of effective home remedies can provide relief. These include heat, Schüssler salts, compresses, medicinal herbal tea, ointments and oils. Important: The aching muscles should never be massaged, but always gently massaged.
Relief of muscle pain through warmth
Warmth is good for you and increases blood circulation, which helps against sore muscles. A hot bath, enriched with essential oils, can counteract the pain. Cajeput, rosemary, spruce needles, lavender and cypress are helpful for this. Attention: Rosemary oil should not be used during pregnancy and for high blood pressure.Instructions for an aroma bath:
- Mix two to three of the oils together (two drops per oil)
- Mix the oils with a little cream
- Stir the oil-cream mixture into the bath water by hand
A useful application from the field of heat therapy is going to the sauna. Another home remedy is to put on a hot water bottle or a cherry stone pillow. This usually takes away the pain and loosens the muscles. What also helps is rubbing with heat-generating ointments. For example, preparations containing cayenne pepper are recommended.
Schüssler salt therapy
The two salts No. 7 (Magnesium phosphoricum) and No. 3 (Ferrum phosphoricum), which were already mentioned in the preventive measures, are also very suitable for the treatment of sore muscles. Mineral therapy with Schüßler salts is easy to use and usually works quickly. A hot seven after exercise (preparation see Schüssler salts for muscle pain) often provides considerable relief - especially if a number 3 tablets are also sucked.
Another Schüssler salt that works well for sore muscles is Salt No. 1 Calcium fluoratum. This is able to soften the hardened muscles.
Treatment with ointments and oils
Ointments or oils containing substances that promote blood circulation or herbs offer natural help for pain. A cuprum (copper) ointment, for example, is a good way to relax the tense muscles. Ointments containing arnica and / or comfrey are also recommended.
A good oil for sore muscles is St. John's wort oil. When buying, it is essential to pay attention to quality. With this oil, which is also called red oil because of its color, the affected muscles are gently rubbed in several times a day. Furthermore, lavender oil has proven itself many times. This not only relaxes the muscles, but also the whole person.
Fruit salad for the optimal supply of enzymes
Enzymes control all possible metabolic processes in the body. They are required for every inflammatory process in order to heal it faster. Since sore muscles are always associated with inflammation in the case of sore muscles, care should be taken to eat certain types of fruit rich in enzymes. These include pineapple, papaya, mango, kiwi and fig. Anyone who eats a large bowl of fruit salad from the aforementioned fruits every day can relieve and shorten the sore muscles.
Important for muscle pain: Sufficient fluid
Liquid is always important for the body. Especially after exercise, water and lost minerals have to be returned to the body. Still water is recommended here, which may be mixed with a little unsweetened apple juice.
Sore muscles treatment with rubbing alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is an ancient home remedy that is used for tension, pain and bruises in the area of the musculoskeletal system. The alcoholic solution promotes blood circulation, has a cooling effect and has a positive effect on the pain receptors.
After exercise or overexertion, the affected muscles are rubbed with the natural medicine twice a day. Danger: Although it is "only" a home remedy, rubbing alcohol should not be used for a long time. Because the alcohol it contains can result in dry skin. If there is an allergic reaction to the essential oils, the treatment should be stopped immediately.
Retterspitz for external use
The medical wrapping solution "Retterspitz external" is used in hydrotherapy and contains thymol, bergamot oil, rosemary oil, lemon oil, arnica tincture and much more. For an effective envelope, wipes are soaked with the solution and placed on the painful areas. The liquid penetrates the diseased tissue, increases blood circulation, has an anti-inflammatory effect and can thus relieve pain in sore muscles.Instructions for Retterspitz wraps:
- Mix Retterspitz with the same amount of water
- Soak a cotton cloth with the solution
- Wring it out, fold it over once and place it on the painful area
- Cover the envelope with a dry molton cloth
- Leave the wrap on the skin until it is dry (approx. 2 hours)
- If necessary, the application can be repeated several times a day
Diet: calcium and magnesium
Magnesium and calcium are important for the muscles. Just when this is injured, the two minerals should be added. A cereal that contains bananas, oatmeal and milk is therefore an ideal home remedy for existing muscle pain.
Pain relief with herbal tea
The pansy has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effects. Preparing a tea from it can relieve the pain caused by the overworked muscles.Pansy Tea Recipe:
- Put a teaspoon of pansy herb in a mug
- Brew it with a quarter liter of boiling water
- After about seven minutes, the infusion can be strained
- If necessary, drink three cups of the beneficial tea
Pansy tea can also be used externally for sore muscles. For this, a cotton cloth is soaked with the tea and this is used as a wrap for the affected muscle. In addition there is another cloth and possibly an additional wool cloth. The wrap can remain there as long as it is perceived as pleasant.
Lavender is known as an excellent home remedy for mosquitoes and insects. The medicinal plant has also proven itself for mental and physical tension and can therefore be used very well against sore muscles. A tasty tea has an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effect.
- Put a teaspoonful of lavender flowers in a mug
- Pour about 250 milliliters of boiling water over the flowers
- Let the infusion steep for seven to ten minutes
- Strain the flowers and drink the tea in small sips
- To increase the effect, add a teaspoon of honey
Natural help with mustard flour compress
A somewhat unusual home remedy for sore muscles is mustard flour. In conjunction with moisture, this develops a certain sharpness and can thus promote blood circulation and provide relaxation for the overloaded muscles.
- Mix three tablespoons of mustard flour with a little warm water to a porridge
- Put this in the middle of a cotton or linen cloth
- Fold the pages over so that a handy package is created
- Place the compress on the painful area and leave it there for only two minutes initially
Danger: The dwell time on the skin can be increased from day to day if necessary, whereby the maximum of five minutes must not be exceeded. Treatment should be stopped immediately if there is a burning sensation or itching. After the application, the skin is applied with an ointment. In children under six years of age, existing skin diseases such as Atopic dermatitis, open wounds and gastric and intestinal ulcers must not be used.
Ginger compress for sore muscles
Ginger is often used internally for indigestion. It helps with nausea, heartburn, bloating and decreased digestive performance. The healthy root is also often used for external use. It has a permanent place in moxa therapy, among other things, and the same applies to wraps and compresses.Instructions for ginger compress:
- Peel ginger about two to three centimeters long and chop it into small pieces
- Boil them with three quarters of a liter of water for about an hour
- Soak a cotton cloth with the finished ginger brew and wring it out
- Put the hot towel on the aching muscle
- Leave the compress on the skin for a few minutes
Danger: If there is redness or if you feel unwell, the compress must be removed immediately.
Sport should be avoided
As long as there is sore muscles, strenuous exercise should be avoided. What is good, however, are walks, easy walking or gentle yoga. Complete immobilization is counterproductive. More strenuous exercise is only recommended when the pain is over. Sports should be restarted at a moderate pace and at an appropriate intensity. Sore muscles are a warning sign and an indication that you should take it easy next time.
Sore muscles are not a bad thing. Nevertheless, the pain should be taken seriously. Maybe the last training session or the last hike was too exhausting or the workload was just too much. The sore muscles indicate to those affected that the body is not yet up to the intended intensity and needs some time to regenerate. (sw, nr)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Editor Heilpraxis.de, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
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- Heinz Schilcher, Susanne Kammerer, Tankred Wegener: Phytotherapy guidelines: With access to the medical world, Urban & Fischer Verlag / Elsevier GmbH, 2016
- Marc R. Safran, William E. Garrett, et al .: The role of warmup in muscular injury prevention, 1988 (accessed: September 1, 2019), Sage Journal
- Stephanie Mosler, Regeneration Nutrition - Strategies to Promote Muscle Regeneration, Sports Physician Newspaper (accessed: 01.09.2019), Sports Physician Newspaper Online