Home Remedies for Sore Muscles and Muscle Cramps

Updated on September 13, 2019
LoisRyan1965 profile image

Lois has over ten years' experience in the home/herbal remedy field. She seeks to inform her readers and help them to save money.

Your muscles may become sore for a wide variety of reasons. You might work out at a gym trying to get bigger muscles. As you increase the amount of weight you are lifting, you are making your muscles work harder. Therefore, with the extra work, your muscles are going to be sore. You also might work in a factory where lifting is required. The more active you are at your job, your muscles will feel it. Even if you do not work outside the home, you may be keeping active in keeping up with your children or your housework. Whatever the reasons for your sore muscles, you do not want to feel uncomfortable. While sore muscles take a few days to heal on their own, you may want to find ways to speed up the healing.

You can expect to have sore muscles with any type of exercise routine.
You can expect to have sore muscles with any type of exercise routine. | Source

Rest

Rest is the best remedy for sore muscles. If you work out at the gym, switching up the routine is advisable. For example, if on one day you are working on your arm muscles, work on a different muscle group during your next workout, such as your legs. If you try to do the same routine constantly, you may actually damage your muscles to the point where it will take a longer time for your muscles to heal. By switching up you routine, you are giving time for your muscles to rest and you may not even get sore muscles.

While you might be doing the same routine with your job and household routines, you might not be able to give your muscles sufficient time to rest. Therefore, heat is the next best option. Applying heating pads, bottles and creams to the sore areas helps increase the blood flow to your muscles. . You can also apply an ice pack to your muscles for twenty minutes. Taking a warm and relaxing bath does wonders for sore muscles. Add three to six drops of one of the following essential oils to the water:

  • Arnica
  • Geranium
  • Rosemary

While stretching is important before you do your workout at the gym, you can set up a routine before you start your day at work or before you hit your household tasks. Doing a stretching routine afterwards is advisable as well.

Walking for fifteen is an excellent exercise to get your circulation moving around your body. When you get more oxygen to your muscles, they will not be as sore.

Massage is an excellent remedy for sore muscles. Take a palm full of Almond oil and rub it in a circular motion in the areas where you feel pain. Repeat this several times a day.

Stretching before exercising is an excellent way to prevent sore muscles and spasms
Stretching before exercising is an excellent way to prevent sore muscles and spasms | Source

Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps are different from sore muscles. They are involuntary and painful cramps caused by contractions of your muscles. These are common in people who are athletes, people who work in a physically demanding job such as in construction or in a factory and people who live in a hot and humid climate.

The main cause of muscle cramps is being dehydrated. While drinking water is one of the best options, you need to make sure your body is getting enough minerals and electrolytes. Make sure that you include drinks such as Gatorade and PowerAde to replenish your electrolytes.

Massage Treatment

Just as it is effective for sore muscles, massage works wonders when it comes to muscle cramps. Here is a simple massage oil recipe. Put four tablespoons of sesame oil in a small bowl. Warn it up in the microwave for 15-30 seconds. Allow it to cool down until you can comfortably touch it with your fingers. Stir in a tablespoon of salt. Apply this mixture to your sore area. Since the cramping muscles are more sensitive than those that are sore, you may need to just rub it in gently.

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Potassium

When you do not include enough potassium in your daily diet, you are opening the door to having muscle cramps. Fill an eight ounce glass with warm water. Add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and one tablespoon of honey and stir. Drinking this once a day helps reduce muscle cramps. Make sure to include these potassium enriched foods:

  • Bananas
  • Bran Cereal
  • Broccoli
  • Dried Fruit
  • Sardines
  • Spinach

Not having enough potassium in your diet opens up the door to muscle strain
Not having enough potassium in your diet opens up the door to muscle strain | Source

Herbs

Herbs play a major role in treating one ailment or another. They contain individual healing properties and health benefits. When you are suffering from a specific condition, you will need to do a research of the makeup of herbs to see what ones are best for you. For muscle cramps, you will need to find herbs that contain calming and relaxing properties. Some of the best herbs to use for muscle cramps include:

  • Black Haw-which contains antispasmodic properties and helps with cramps throughout the body
  • Chamomile-it contains glycine, which is an amino acid known for relaxing the muscles
  • Black Cohosh-which contains antispasmodic properties and is effective with back pain and menstrual cramps
  • Cramp Bark-which is effective for back, neck, leg, kidney and uterine cramps
  • Skullcap-which contains anti-convulsion properties and is effective in muscle cramps and twitches

Even if you do not suffer from muscle cramps, you still may want to include them in your daily regimen. They include many other healing properties such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and removing toxins from your body. You can grow these in your backdoor garden or purchase them as supplements or teas.

Ginger has been used for years in treating people who are suffering from the stomach flu and promoting cardiovascular health. However, this herb also contains anti-inflammatory properties and is effective in relieving the pain from sore muscles and muscle cramps. The most effective way to take ginger is to cut a small piece of root and swallow it with water. However, you can also cook it with your favorite meat, fish or vegetable meal or drink it as a tea.

Doing some simple stretches before you go to bed helps prevent muscle cramps. Even though you can get these throughout the body, cramps at nighttime occur mostly in the legs, especially in the calf muscles. An effective stretch is to lean into a wall to stretch your calf muscles.

The above are some effective home remedies for sore muscles and muscle cramps. However, before you try any of these, it is best to talk to your doctor, since some herbs may interact with medications or supplements that you may already be taking.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Lois Ryan

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      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        4 months ago from The Caribbean

        Very educational and practically helpful. Thanks for the massage and food remedies.

      • Lorna Lamon profile image

        Lorna Lamon 

        4 months ago

        This is a really interesting article full of great advice. I drink chamomile tea which I find very beneficial as a relaxant. I also practice yoga which involves lots of warm up stretching exercises. I wasn't aware of the various herbs you mentioned - I will have to stock up. Thank you for sharing.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        4 months ago from Sunny Florida

        I have heard from many people about the benefit of the stretches. I really like the herbal remedies you listed, as I think they are so much better than prescriptions. Thanks for a great way to treat muscle cramps.

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