8 Natural Ways to Help Relieve Occasional Muscle Aches and Continue Feeling Your Best

Published on June 21, 2022


By Gaia Herbs

Gaia Herbs

8 Natural Ways to Help Relieve Occasional Muscle Aches and Continue Feeling Your Best
8 Natural Ways to Help Relieve Occasional Muscle Aches and Continue Feeling Your Best

Between the normal wear and tear of daily life and exercise (weekend warriors and regular athletes alike), you’re likely to feel some aches, pains, and muscle soreness at some point and need muscle pain relief. If you’re looking for natural pain relievers to alleviate occasional muscle aches and pains in those times you’ve overdone it, keep reading.*

Here, we’ll share several great options. With the right foods, herbal supplements, warm baths, massage, and more, you can feel your best and doing the activities you love.*

8 Ways To Help Relieve Occasional Muscle Aches*

Before we jump into naturally supporting occasional muscle pain relief, it’s important to note that it’s worth paying attention to your aches and pains. Sometimes, your muscle aches may actually indicate an underlying health condition that may not improve without medical advice. Always seek help from a medical professional for ongoing or chronic pain.

What’s the Cause of Your Pain?

The run-of-the-mill muscle soreness you may experience a day or two after a workout is referred to as DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). REF#2004 Although this can leave you with stiffness and muscle pain, it’s normal and expected after a hard workout or a new activity. This is normal pain associated with lifting a heavier weight, going a longer distance, or trying a new exercise. 

However, aches and pains that don’t go away or seem different than sore muscles could mean there is something else going on in your body. Acute muscle pain is pain that happens due to an injury or strain. 

For instance, this is the pain you may feel when you roll an ankle or use improper form during a deadlift and experience back pain. It’s possible to feel both acute pain and delayed onset muscle soreness simultaneously, and sometimes it can be difficult to discern one from the other. REF#2004 

If you have muscle pain or stiffness that worsens, consult your doctor. It’s also a good idea to trust your gut. If your intuition tells you that your sore muscles might be a symptom of something more, it’s worth having it checked so you don’t end up making a possible injury worse. 

That being said, let’s discuss eight natural ways to support muscle pain relief for sore, achy muscles due to exercise and daily activity.

1) Eat the Right Foods

The food that you eat doesn’t only serve to fuel your body and give you energy, though that is a very important aspect. The right foods can also help you combat muscle soreness. Ginger, cherry, and watermelon are three examples of such foods.*

Watermelon contains an amino acid called L-citrulline, which can help relieve occasional muscle soreness. REF#2005 A study on watermelon juice performed with athletes showed that the juice can help reduce occasional muscle soreness after 24 hours. REF#2005

Another study performed with marathon runners who drank watermelon juice enriched in L-citrulline also indicated a diminished muscle soreness perception 24 to 72 hours after racing. REF#2006

If you don’t enjoy watermelon, turn to cherry juice, which appears to aid post-exercise recovery. REF#2007

Finally, Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is not only delicious and easy to cook with, but also provides foundational support for your body.* While Ginger does not immediately minimize muscle soreness, it may help reduce occasional aches and pains related to normal activity.* REF#2008

Another benefit of Ginger? It’s often used to help soothe digestive discomfort. If you feel a little under the weather, ginger can help. It’s also a good solution if your digestive system needs some help after a heavy dinner or dessert. REF#2016

If your pain is keeping you up at night, you may also want to try Valerian root. Valerian can help calm the nervous system and encourage restful sleep, which may help you sleep soundly even as you heal.

2) Take a Turmeric Supplement*

Turmeric is another food that can act as a powerful antioxidant.* It can help reduce occasional inflammation due to exercise and activity and support healthy immune response function for active lifestyles.* REF#2009

One study specifically examined the effects of taking curcumin, the active component in Turmeric, and found that it can support your body during times when you overdo it.* REF#2010 On those days when you stretch a little too far during yoga or lift a little more weight than you should have, taking Turmeric can help soothe your soreness so you can get back to the gym faster. 

However, very few people cook with fresh Turmeric, and its bitter taste makes it difficult to consume enough of the powdered herb to really make a difference. Most frequently, turmeric is added to recipes to supply a bright yellow color, which may complement the dish. You’ll often find this ingredient in Indian cuisine. 

Anytime you take an herb, you want to ensure the highest level of bioavailability. Bioavailability is the amount of the herb that goes into circulation and isn’t excreted in your urine when you take it. Curcumin is more bioavailable when combined with Piperine (black pepper).* REF#2009 That simply means that your body is better able to absorb Turmeric in combination with the spice.

That’s why we recommend taking a high-quality Turmeric supplement that also contains black pepper. Here are two of our favorites.

Turmeric Supreme® Extra Strength

Some aches and soreness need extra attention. When joint pain from a hard workout leaves you feeling stiff, our extra-strength turmeric formula can help soothe discomfort and get you back on your feet.

Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme® Extra Strength delivers 36 mg of curcumins in each liquid capsule along with, of course, black pepper. Simply take one capsule once or twice daily with meals.

This supplement is vegan and purity-tested so that you can feel good about what you’re putting in your body. 

Prefer to get your health benefits in the convenience of a gummy? Try Turmeric Supreme® Extra Strength Gummies. Our gummies are vegan-friendly and are sweetened with organic fruit concentrates instead of sugar or syrup.

Turmeric Supreme® Pain

For an herbal supplement for occasional aches and pains that combines the power of Turmeric with other herbs, turn to Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme® Pain.

Made with Devil's Claw, Ginger, Feverfew, Jamaican Dogwood, and Rosemary, this Turmeric supplement is designed to support the relief of occasional aches and pains.* Take two capsules up to three times a day to reap the benefits.

3) Take a Bath

Taking a bath is another way to wind down and relax. The right sort of bath can also help support muscle pain relief. A warm bath with Epsom salts may be just what your sore body needs.

The warm water offers moist heat, and adding Epsom salts provides magnesium sulfate, a muscle relaxant. REF#2011 Add two cups of Epsom salt to your warm bath and soak for 15 minutes two or three times per week.

Occasionally, baths can lead to urinary tract discomfort. If that happens, you can support your body and alleviate symptoms with our Cranberry Concentrate. Made with North American Cranberry, this supplement is also a great source of antioxidants that can help prevent oxidative stress from free radicals. REF#2017

4) Apply Heat and Cold

Applying heat and cold is an age-old trick to help relieve injuries, aches, and pains. The heat and the cold both serve different purposes for muscle pain relief. Generally, you should use ice for acute muscle and joint pain and topical heat to soothe DOMs or other activity-related muscle spasms. 

If you have a particularly difficult area of soreness, you can try alternating heat and cold on the area in 20-minute increments. 

Heat can relax your achy muscles by increasing blood flow, while cold can numb the area and help relieve occasional muscle aches. REF#2011

There is no need to run to the store to buy something. A cold pack can be as simple as a bag of frozen vegetables or a wet towel that you’ve placed in the freezer. Similarly, for a hot pack, you can use a towel soaked in warm water or a rice pack that you’ve popped in the microwave.

5) Massage Your Muscles

It’s no secret that a massage feels great and can help you leave your worries behind, even if just for a few moments. But the benefits don’t stop with relaxation. Research findings show that massage can help alleviate muscle soreness from exercise. REF#2012

This might mean you treat yourself to a professional massage occasionally, or you can massage your muscles at home with a foam roller. If you deal with consistent pain in a particular area, like recurrent back pain or leg soreness, investing in a regular massage appointment as part of your self-care routine could be worth it. 

6) Apply Essential Oils

Essential oils can also be used to relax and soothe sore muscles if you take the time to rub the oils into your skin and massage your muscles.

Applying peppermint oil in a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) is beneficial for headaches and achy muscles.REF#2013 Also, try lemongrass, frankincense, or cypress oils for occasional muscle aches and pains.REF#2013

7) Keep Moving

Last but not least, it’s important that your sore muscles don’t keep you from moving. While a hard gym workout might not be called for, it’s a good idea to opt for some sort of gentle movement. 

Research points to continued movement as one of the key ways to deal with long-term pain conditions, noting that its effectiveness has been well-established in numerous clinical trials.REF#2018

Work the kinks out of your muscles with a walk, yoga, or light stretching. Listen to your body. If you try these activities and find your pain limits you or makes it impossible to complete them, you may want to rest until your muscles and joints have had time to fully recover.

Why Try Natural Remedies?

Herbal medicine is an ancient alternative medicine dating back to the beginning of humankind. We have evidence of herbal remedies from ancient texts, monuments, and original formulas found in archeological digs. REF#2014 In fact, herbs are a large part of both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine.

It makes sense that our ancestors used these remedies because there may have been nothing else available to them. However, with modern medicine, why are some still choosing herbal products? 

The truth is that many people aren’t comfortable with the side effects of some medications, and others have chronic pain problems that might make those types of medications less viable options due to an increased risk of side effects over long-term usage. REF#2015 Others are simply looking for a natural way to support their health.

While herbs can help support the health of someone who is relatively healthy, they are not designed to treat diseases and medical conditions. Suppose you have a preexisting condition or medical symptoms that are affecting your quality of life. In that case, it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action.

How Can You Find Quality Herbal Supplements?

Herbal supplements and herbalists are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means that you might not always know what you’re getting. That’s why it’s so important to source your supplements from a reputable company that values your health.

At Gaia Herbs, we believe that the quality of an herbal supplement can only be as good as the quality of the herbs that go into it. That’s why we love to grow many of the herbs used in our supplements on our own farm.

For plants used in our supplements that we cannot grow on our farm or in the quantity that we need, our network of organic and sustainable communities allows us to source herbs from where they grow best.

To learn even more about the herbs in your supplements and where they come from, visit meetyourherbs.com, the world’s first herb traceability platform.

Relieve Occasional Muscle Aches the Natural Way*

Muscle aches are to be expected when you live an active life. If you are looking for natural solutions, turn to the tips we mentioned above. Remember, there are always herbal options for supporting your body and feeling better.

By eating the right foods, soothing your muscles with an Epsom salt bath, and turning to supplements like Turmeric Supreme® Extra Strength, you can support your muscles and get back to feeling your best.*

Your favorite activities are waiting for you!

REFERENCES:

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