Healing from chronic pain can definitely take some time. I often time get messages from people feeling discouraged and frustrated for not finding a permanent cure after a few weeks of trying to treat piriformis syndrome. While it doesn’t have to take as long as it takes for some of us (7 years for this gal), having repetitive flare-ups, is a good sign that something more serious is going on, and we need to focus more on investigating the pain, and looking for the real cause.
But I totally get how tough it can be, and how, when nothing is working, we might feel frustrated, hopeless, and discouraged.
In today’s post I want to list some tools, and ways that can help you reduce inflammation and muscle pain for fast relief, that is often times SO NEEDED, and get a break from symptoms, without stressing the body too much with medication
If you can’t watch the video for this post, keep scrolling for a summary of what’s included 🙂
7 Ways to Reduce Inflammation and Muscle Pain
1. Schedule warm Epson salt baths
There is nothing more relaxing that scheduling that time for yourself to relax and let the warm water do it’s thing :). Warm baths help your body relax, reduce inflammation, and get you into recovery mode. They will also help you improve sleep quality if you experience pain during sleep. If you prefer showers to baths, try to take another shower before bed as well. You will notice how your body will relax, and how easy it will be for you to fall asleep.
2. Reduce/Eliminate grains and processed foods
Personally, I have noticed a huge decrease in inflammation once I eliminated grains completely from my diet. While, I have started including some brown rice now, back then I made the decision to completely cut everything out to let me body heal. If you do reduce grains (includes whole grains also), and notice that you are not bloated, or feel inflamed, this is a good sign that you need to be following an anti-inflammatory diet, and including foods rich in probiotics such as fermented foods, or a probiotic supplement. I have another video you can check out where I talk all about which foods and supplements to take to reduce inflammation.
3. Increase your magnesium intake
You can either do this by eating more foods that contain magnesium, or supplement. Studies have shown that 80% of adults have a magnesium deficiency. Symptoms include spasms, muscle aches, bad sleep quality, as well as anxiety. I personally take magnesium (supplement) every single day before bed. It has replaced all my muscle relaxants, and even when I don’t experience pain, I still take it.
4. Turmeric tea
I absolutely love turmeric. I include it in almost everything. Tea is the easiest, simplest way to take it in. Turmeric contains a lot of anti-inflammatory properties, in addition to other health benefits. I keep it as simple as possible when it comes to tea; I slice up some turmeric, and add hot water to it and let sit for few minutes. You can add some raw honey as well for extra sweetness. It’s a fantastic way to help decrease inflammation and discomfort.
5. Get an acupressure mat
While this is not a required tool to buy, it has been the only consistent tool I’ve been using when I couldn’t do anything else (like foam rolling). Acupressure mats help release the tension in the muscles while also reducing inflammation in the joints by increasing blood flow in the area. So it promotes natural healing and helps your body relax. Here are couple of acupressure mats you can check out:
Acupressure mat: Nayoya mat
Spoonk Mat: what I use
6. Take a break from ‘stretchnitis’ – aka stretching non-stop.
Yess stretching too much, without a goal, mindlessly can seriously hinder your progress. I know that it is the first thing we jump on the moment we feel pain, but if a muscle is weak, doesn’t feel tight, and hurts, it does NOT need to be stretched. If you are performing a stretch, and don’t feel good afterward, or it’s only temporary, then you want to take a short-term break from it, let things settle a little and assess muscle weaknesses instead. Strengthening is something that I encourage everyone to do because it not only stabilizes the joints, but also fix the imbalances caused by stretching too much. I include a lot of strengthening as well inside the back pain bootcamp (core, glutes, hips, and full body)
Mindless stretching creates a lot of instability around the joints. Listen to your body, and if it’s not responding positively to stretching, you really need to consider taking a break (for a day or two) and explore other ways to improve.
Of course, gentle stretches are fine, I am talking about aggressively stretching the same muscle group more than 3 times a day, every time you feel pain.
7. Mindfulness meditation
One of the things I had to include in this list is mindfulness meditation. It has had an amazing impact on my life and health. If your goal is to gain more control over how you feel, and improve your self-relaxation skills, I highly recommend it. There are many Youtube Videos that guide you through it, and a lot of them are under 10 minutes.
Use mindfulness meditation to connect back to your body, and relax your muscles. If your goal is to improve sleep quality and relax before bed, you can use it before bed as well.
I will link below the resources I mentioned in this post so you can check them out. I hope you will pick 1-2 items from the list above, and experiment with them. Remember that your healing journey is unique to YOU, and while it’s great to learn about what has worked for others, we still need to experiment and listen to our bodies as we try different things.
Resources mentioned in the video:
Acupressure mat: Nayoya mat
Spoonk Mat: what I use
Foods to fight inflammation Video
Favorite Meditation Channel