A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.
Certain individuals can be affected by muscle soreness and achy muscles from any physical strain and overexertion following any strenuous physical activity especially if they are not accustomed to any sudden use of physical force. Several hours may elapse before any of the muscular aching becomes apparent in most cases. Usually the person will feel an initial tiredness and heaviness in the muscles. This progresses to a different stage in the morning, as the muscles now become very stiff and painful, particularly when the person is getting up for the first time. The possibility of a muscular strain exists if visible injury along with swelling or bruising is apparent in the affected region of the body. The risk of physical injury is also increased by the presence of muscular fatigue and exhaustion.
The real causes or the origin of muscular soreness is not clear and some debate exists on its development. The view is that accumulated lactic acid within the muscles causes the aching and stiffness, this acid is a by-product that accumulates in the muscles during exercise, when the accumulated lactic acid is combined with the occurrence of micro tears in the fibers of the muscle during exercise-soreness may result. The accumulation of lactic acid is the primary reason for soreness as far as the scientific view is concerned. The physical overexertion of muscles after repeated and unaccustomed exercise, or physical fatigue arising from insufficient training, is the primary cause of the minor injuries to the muscles. The risk of developing acing muscles and injured muscles also increases if the person does not warm up or if he or she avoids cooling down slowly by undertaking some stretching exercises before and after taking part in any demanding physical sport.
Supplements and herbs
The real role played by the following nutritional supplements is in the reduction of inflammation in the affected muscles; these supplements will not and cannot help prevent the occurrence of muscular soreness-as some soreness in the muscles is a very natural corollary of physical exercise. The rate of healing and the recovery of damaged connective tissue within the body are increased by the use of supplements like the vitamin C taken along with plant based natural compounds called bioflavonoids. The natural anti-inflammatory compounds known as the prostaglandins within the body are manufactured from the essential fatty acids obtained in the diet, in particular the fatty acid called the gammalinolenic acid or (GLA), which is present in abundant amounts within the oil of the evening primrose herb. The healing of connective tissue is also aided by supplements of the vitamin E; this in addition serves in the prevention of scar tissue arising from the inflammation in the affected region of the body. Damaged muscles are also very effectively healed by the compound known as the glucosamine, this compound is very important for proper muscular function.
Sore and aching muscles are relaxed and soothed by the use of the following herbal remedies on a regular basis.
To bring about an improvement in the muscle tone and to repair the damage sustained by the connective tissue, supplements of about three or four capsules of aqueous horsetail extract containing vegetal silica can be taken thrice every day on a regular basis by the affected individual. Instead of using a medication such as Aspirin TM, herbal supplements of the willow bark can be used for suppressing or reducing any pain associated with the aching muscles in the body. Prepare the extract of the willow bark by soaking about 1-3 tsp. of the bark in some cold water for two to five hours; let this herb steep in the water. Strain the solution well and take one third of a full cup thrice daily as a pain relieving herbal measure. Individuals suffering from a sensitive stomach, can use a combination of the willow bark mixed in a quarter part of the root of the licorice along with a small amount of the bark of cinnamon, this can be substituted by daily taking a single capsule of powdered willow bark thrice every day during the supplemental period. If the muscles start to ache following some physical exercise, use a combination herbal formulation of herbs like the saffron, the dandelion, the gentian, the skullcap, along with herbs like the valerian, the buckthorn bush, the cayenne and the wild yam. Similar forms of these herbs or substitutes are also available in the form of capsules and these can be used instead of the raw form of these herbal supplements. Due to its beneficial ability of removing all the accumulated lactic acid in the muscles, the herbal supplements of the saffron forms the major effective part of the formula-hence, all such herbal combinations must contain saffron compulsorily. The accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles brings about muscular soreness and stiffness especially after the beginning of a new exercise regimen by the individual. Muscles can also be relaxed and soothed by topical techniques such as taking a half-hour hot bath to which infusions of the lemon balm, the fir needles and/or some hayseed infusion has been added, instead of these herbs, twenty drops each of eucalyptus, camphor or lemon balm oil infusions can also be added as herbal formulas in the hot bath water. Make sure to take some time off resting in bed immediately after taking the bath-this period of rest and relaxation must last for at least an hour at a stretch for maximum benefit. Aching muscles can also be aided by massages using about five drops of the tea tree oil in a tbsp. of warm almond oil, the massage must be carried out on a regular basis in along all the affected muscles in the body. The painful areas of the body can also be relieved from the painful sensation by rubbing some St. John's wort oil into the skin. The herbal infusions or oil of the arnica is also another effective remedy to relieve muscle pain in people affected by aches or sprains. Soreness in the muscles can also be treated by direct topical applications of the cream of the calendula, which is a traditional and proven herbal remedy used in the treatment of damaged muscles. Herbal teas can also help bring some relief to the symptoms of aching muscles, including heavy and tired legs and ankles which can come about because of the long term stagnation of blood in the veins-this commonly affects expectant and nursing mothers-prepare a herbal tea or drink a tbsp. of the fresh juice of the St. John's wort and the yarrow herbs.
Additional things you may do
Take a hot bath lasting about thirty minutes to bring some relaxation to tense and painful muscles especially following any vigorous exercise-the bath will soothe muscles. To absorb toxins accumulated in the muscular tissues, use 1-2 cups of Epsom salts and mix this to the bath water-this solution will aid in the detoxification of the body. Make sure that you take sufficient rest in bed for at least an hour after taking bath using this solution. A good precautionary step is to warm up the muscles by taking some stretching exercises before running or before undertaking any vigorous physical activity. The nature of your lifestyle may also determine the type of problems that you may face, as some type of jobs may require long periods of standing or may involve a lot of walking around a place, particularly on hard surfaces such as hardwood floors or cement floors and in such cases some simple treatments of a regular basis will relieve aching muscles. People who have such jobs suffer from leg muscles that react with painful sensations and may even swell. Such pain may be relieved in the evenings by regular massages and rubbing sessions.
Other beneficial herbs