Muscle aches, tenderness, and soreness is never fun to deal with and can be quite painful and last for a prolonged period of time if it is not addressed, most of us have experienced this first hand. Our natural reaction is to try to rub the area out ourselves, or if you are lucky enough, convince someone to massage the area or maybe even dig their elbows into a specific tender spot. But let me tell you, you might be doing more harm than good! If you have experienced this before, you’ve probably noticed that this approach gets you little to no relief at all. There are better options to help with muscle aches and soreness! Here are my top five go to treatments for anyone dealing with muscle aches. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
1. Chiropractic care
Chiropractic care is absolutely magical for musculoskeletal pain! Not only can chiropractic care address the effected muscle itself, it also addresses the nervous system, and vertebras of the spine as well! Now, you may think what does my nervous system or spinal vertebras have anything to do with the pain in my hamstring? Well, the nerves that supply the hamstrings exits the spine in the lumbar region (lower back) If the vertebras are fixated, or not moving properly this can interfere with nerve function.
There are many different types of athletic tape out in the market. I personally use Rocktape for both my patients and myself. It is extremely effective in aiding the recovery process of muscle strains as well as preventing future injuries. The purpose of using tape when dealing with a muscle strain is to speed up the healing process. Rocktape helps reduce inflammation and increases blood flow to the affected area for a quick recovery.
3. Essential oil
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE my essential oils. I use them pretty much every day, you can diffuse the oils, apply them topically, or ingest them. As far as muscle aches, my favorite go to essential oil is the Deep Blue oil from Doterra. It has a very soothing and cooling effect and is applied topically in the area over the achy muscle. It provides great relief and has amazing benefits! Essential oils are extremely convenient and easy to use and can be used in several ways.
4. Foam rolling/ Lacrosse ball
Foam rolling is a great form of self myofascial release. It is extremely beneficial for breaking up scar tissue and adhesions throughout your muscles. Using a lacrosse ball has the same premise and effect as foam rolling, but is utilized on more specific trigger points that can be pin-pointed. Using a foam roller or a lacrosse ball is a very inexpensive form of self myofascial release and is a great tool for alleviating the pain of trigger points and tension. When the fascia or muscles have been compromised, this can limit your range of motion, cause compression of your muscles and nerves, and can lead to overall decreased hydration and blood flow to the area. By breaking up all the scar tissue and addressing the adhesions throughout your muscles, this can drastically benefit your performance and your overall ability to take on daily tasks.
You Hear people mention apply heat or put ice on it. There is a time and place for both of these! For muscle strain or ache I always recommend applying heat. To get more specific, I generally recommend moist heat because it has a better outcome. Dry heat can draw out moisture from the body and can lead to dehydration which is exactly what you don’t want when dealing with muscle aches. So it’s definitely better to use moist heat, such as a hot bath, steamed towel, or a moist heating pad. Try it, at the very least it helps you relax.