A muscle spasm means that one or more of your muscles is contracting and twitching and cramping out of control leading to back or neck pain. Doctors prescribe muscle relaxers or muscle relaxants to deal with these spasms. The problem is, like other medications, they often have side effects which is why people opt for natural options. Common side effects of muscle relaxant medications include:
- Tiredness, drowsiness, or sedation effect
- Fatigue or weakness
- Dry mouth
- Decreased blood pressure
Natural muscle relaxers
Chamomile is an ancient herb that’s long been used to treat a variety of ailments including muscle spasms. It has flavonoids which are compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. You can massage chamomile essential oil onto the affected muscles to get relief from spasms. Drinking chamomile tea can also help relax sore muscles.
All You Need To Know About Chamomile Oil
Cherries are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds which help relax the muscles naturally. Tart cherry juice helps reduce pain and muscle damage from exercise.
Curcumin is a compound found in turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon that has anti-inflammatory compounds. One study found that it decreases inflammatory markers after exercise. You can consume curcumin by adding turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon to your diet in teas and while cooking. Alternatively, you can take curcumin supplements.
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Pomegranates are rich in polyphenols which are antioxidants. Weightlifters use pomegranate juice to speed up muscle recovery.
Health: The Benefits Of Pomegranates
One delicious and natural way to relax your muscles is to eat blueberries. They have antioxidant properties which reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. One study found that having a blueberry smoothie before and after a workout can help accelerate recovery from muscle damage.
7 Health Benefits Of Blueberries
Cayenne pepper has a compound called capsaicin which is a natural muscle relaxant often recommended for people with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. You can choose to consume more pepper in your diet or take cayenne pepper in capsule form or as a cream you can apply to the affected areas.
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People who have regular muscle pain or spasms may be deficient in vitamin D. Our bodies produce vitamin D when we go out in the sun, so that’s one way of increasing your vitamin D. Another way is consuming foods rich in vitamin D including salmon, herring, sardines, cod liver oil, tuna, egg yolks, mushrooms, and vitamin D fortified foods like cereal and oatmeal. You can also take vitamin D supplements.
Health: Benefits And Sources Of Vitamin D
Magnesium is critical for normal muscle and nerve function. It’s rare but a magnesium deficiency can cause muscle pain. Magnesium can be consumed through supplements. You can also get more by consuming foods rich in magnesium such as bananas, nuts, and seeds, legumes like beans, fibre-rich whole grains, greens like spinach, and dark chocolate.
Health: Magnesium Benefits And Food Sources
Adequate protein intake after exercise can help reduce muscle inflammation. For athletes, there are many protein powders available. You can also consume foods rich in proteins including eggs, nuts, lentils, lean beef, fish, poultry, pumpkin seeds, and legumes.
The best, most natural way to relax your muscle is to rest. Get plenty of sleep, hydrate by drinking fluids, and try not to overwork the affected muscle. Using heat pads and ice packs can provide immediate relief in the affected area.
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