Muscles are a bundle of fibrous tissue which helps move the body by contraction. Stretching muscles beyond their tensile strength can make them sore. Primary causes behind sore muscles are overstretching, overexertion, strenuous exercise, heavy weight lifting, and trauma. Homeopathic treatment for sore muscles may be very beneficial.
The following remedies can help persons with sore muscles caused by overstretching, overexerting, or injuries.
1. Rhus Toxicodendron – For Sore Muscles Due to Weightlifting
Rhus Toxicodendron, also known as Poison Ivy is a flowering shrub whose leaves are used to make the medicine. It belongs to the family Anacardiaceae and is commonly found in parts of Asia and Eastern North America. The main actions of the remedy are on the inflammatory conditions, skin and rheumatic pains of the body. Rhus -t is a beneficial remedy for the treatment of sore muscles caused due to lifting heavy weights. Stiffness, along with sore and painful muscles is also seen. Application of something warm over the affected part may offer some relief. There is also some soreness of the condyles of the bones. The cold fresh air is not tolerated and it makes the skin painful. Tenderness is also felt in the affected muscles.
2. Arnica Montana – For Sore Muscles Due to Trauma
Arnica Montana (also known as Wolf’s Bane) is a flowering plant of the Asteraceae family, the dried flowers of which are used to prepare the remedy Arnica. It is commonly found in the European region. Arnica is a well-indicated remedy for injury to the skin or for pain and swelling associated with bruises, aches, and sprains in the muscles. Sore muscles as a result of trauma respond well to Arnica. It is also a good remedy for the sore muscles after previous injuries. There is a sore, lame and bruised feeling in the body. The patient may feel the pain in various muscles as if resulting from being beaten. Touching the affected body part worsens the pain as muscles are tender. Arnica is also used for sore muscles caused by influenza.
3. Bryonia Alba – When Slight Motion Worsens the Pain
Bryonia Alba or White Bryony is a perennial climbing herb found in parts of Europe and Northern Iran, of the family Cucurbitaceae. The dried root of this plant is used to prepare the homeopathic remedy. Bryonia has its affinity towards dryness of all mucous membranes of the body, aching in single muscle and the serous membranes of the organs. Bryonia Alba is best suited in cases of sore muscles when relief is brought about by only absolute rest. The slightest motion of the affected part worsens the pain. People requiring Bryonia feel relief when pressure is applied to the affected part. Lying down on the affected part also makes the soreness of the muscles better.
Other Important Remedies
Cimicifuga is a beneficial remedy for sore muscles affecting the central bulge of the large muscles. In such cases, the application of something cold worsens the pain. Cimicifuga is an excellent remedy for sore muscles caused by excessive muscle exertion, like dancing or long, continuous running, etc. Pain in the muscles of the neck from overwork like typing is also treated well with this remedy.
Gelsemium is a beneficial remedy for the sore muscles. It is used in cases of extreme weakness and fatigue accompanying muscle soreness. In such cases, the patient gets relief by lying down or resting. Gelsemium helps to relieve the pain in the muscles as well as the weakness along with it. Gelsemium also works well for sore muscles caused by influenza.
6. Sanguinaria Canadensis
Sanguinaria Canadensis is a useful remedy for soreness and pain in the deltoid muscle. Along with being painful, the deltoid muscle is also very stiff. The pain worsens on lifting the arm and usually aggravates at night time. Sanguinaria works well for deltoid pain on the right side.
Types of Muscle Soreness
Acute muscle soreness
Acute muscle soreness is the pain felt in the muscles immediately after a vigorous physical stimulus. The pain appears within a minute of contraction of the muscle and disappears within two or three minutes or up to some hours after the muscle’s relaxation.
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is exercise-related muscle pain. It develops after excessive and unaccustomed exercise after the muscles fail to relax within 48-72 hours. It is prevalent if that exercise has an eccentric component where the muscles are contracting whilst lengthening – eg downhill running, long-distance running.
The classic symptoms of this soreness describe a dull muscle ache that develops 24 to 48 hours after a strenuous exercise.
Managing and Preventing Sore Muscles
To minimize the development of muscle soreness, the following suggestions should be kept in mind:
- Take it slow and gradually build up the amount of exercise at one time.
- Be aware of the amount of eccentric exercise being included in the workouts.
- Long distance runners should incorporate eccentric quadriceps training into their training to avoid soreness.
It is recommended to avoid aggressive exercise during the recovery phase. This is due to the muscle’s reduced capacity to cope up with the shock absorption, in-coordination, and the contraction intensity. Cycling has been shown to temporarily ease the pain.
Using an ice pack in case of an acute injury, or if there is a swelling of the muscle area and it feels warm, can help soothe the muscle. Wrap up an ice pack in a thin towel and place it on the sore muscles for about 15 minutes.
A massage will help to relax the very tight sore muscles and soothes muscle aches. However, this should not be done in cases of an acute injury. Stretching your muscles for about 10 minutes after a rigorous workout to prevent sore muscles and warming up the body with simple movements like arm swings before exercise can help avoid soreness.
In the case of soreness, do not stop exercising completely. The fact that we experience muscle soreness after a workout is a sign that the muscles have been stretched and are slowly getting better. By using the muscles (with light activity) we can speed up the elimination of lactic acid buildup in the muscles.
Build up eccentric exercises slowly. Eccentric contractions occur when the muscles lengthen under tension. Walking or running downhill are also examples of eccentric training. Increasing the intensity gradually is seen to have relieved the intensity of pain.
Lastly, a warm bath may loosen the tightened muscles and boost up the blood circulation, thus providing temporary relief.
Homeopathy offers support in restoring our body’s balance, health, and vitality on mental, emotional, and physical levels. It’s important you seek professional advice from a qualified registered homeopath or your GP to ensure you are receiving the best possible treatment for all that you are experiencing.
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