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Natural Muscle Relaxants and Pain Relief

Updated on September 17, 2014
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

A Chiropractor could be helpful.Image: Morguefile.com
A Chiropractor could be helpful.Image: Morguefile.com

Muscle Relaxants and Pain Relief

You know how it feels. Maybe you are just getting up in the morning and your hip let's you know that you were crazy to have gone ice skating at your age. Or, perhaps you're bending over to pick something up and your back decides that's going to be your permanent position. It could be almost anything, the important thing is that it hurts. A lot.

You want to feel better fast but before you reach for a bottle of prescription meds you might like to know that there are many types of muscle relaxants for pain relief.

Most people think of prescription drugs when they have pain or a pulled muscle however there are other ways of dealing with these health issues without resorting to narcotics and chemicals.

When a persons begins asking about the combination of muscle relaxants and pain relief most often they are having pain in the back. There can be a number of reasons for this, so if your pain lasts more than a few days, is very severe, or does not respond to any of the following treatments be sure to check with your health care provider.

Herbs for Pain Relief and Muscle Relaxers

Herbs are natural products that have been used safely for thousands of years to promote healing in the human body. They were the first medicines used and have been in use far longer than chemical medications.

Herbs can be used internally as a tea, in capsules, or in oils. They can be used externally in poultices, rubs, salves, and soaks. Always follow instructions for use that have been given. They should be taken with caution, and careful consideration of the dosage recommended. lways discuss your plans to take any supplement with your health care provider, especially if you have other health issues or are taking other medications. Herbs can interact in dangerous ways with other medications so use caution.

Some herbs for pain relief recommended by both herbal practitioners and Rutgers University Medical Forums are:

  • Valerian: Valerian is one of the primary herbs to consider when you need pain relief coupled with muscle relaxation. It is an anti-inflammatory and will help relax spasms so that you can get comfortale. It also induces sleep. Its awful flavor requires that it most often be taken in capsule form.
  • Chamomile: Is a muscle relaxer, best used in combination with other herbs. It is often made into a pleasant tea with an apple flavor.
  • Licorice: An anti-inflammatory that works much like steroids. Licorice root can be taken as a tea, capsule, or syup, and may be added to other herbs to increase their effectiveness.
  • Kava Root: Pain relief that is taken in a variety of ways.
  • White willow: Pain relief. This natural medication has a natural form of aspirin.
  • Horsetail: Pain relief
  • Cramp Bark: Anti-spasmodic that is most often used as a tea.
  • Cayenne Pepper: External applications of poultices provide topical pain relief.
  • Devils Claw: Reduces pain and is an anti-inflammatory
  • Passiflora: Muscle relaxer that is often used in conjunction with valerian.
  • Rub lobelia extract on the affected area to relieve spasms.

You could pick and choose from the list and try to come up with something that works, but herbs most often work best when combined with other herbs. Many good companies have done the work for you by combining herbs into teas or capsules to help with muscle spasms, aches, and pain. Look for Devil's Claw in the remedy as it is one of the best herbs for pain.

Nutrition

The body burns extra nutrients when it is in the process of healing. It is important to replenish these vitamins and minerals to keep the body working properly and effectively.

  • Calcium:1,500 mgs a day
  • Magnesium:1,000 mgs a day

These work to relieve pain. Magnesium also helps repair damaged nerve endings and therefore reduces the pain by promoting healing.

Other nutrional supplements that are important are:

  • Potassium: 99 mgs per day
  • Silica as directed on label
  • Vitamin C: 3,000 mgs a day
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid: A potent antioxident. 100 mgs per day.

In addition to the above supplements, drink plenty of water to keep the toxins flushed out of your system.

Homeopathic Remedies

Many people find help through homeopathic remedies. It may take some experimentation to find exactly which remedy will work best in your situation. The results, once the proper remedy is found, are normally very quick.

Always take homeopathic remedies in a clean mouth. No food or drink for 30 minutes before, or 30 minutes after. Do not drink coffee or items containing caffeine, or mint (even mint toothpaste) when taking homeopathics.

Remedies include:

  • Calcarea phosphorica: If you experience a stiffness and soreness in the muscles of the spine and joints, especially if it is in the neck and upper back,this may be the remedy you need.
  • Kali carb: If low back pain drives you out of bed at night, and you have to get up to turn over this may be what you need.
  • Arnica: excellent for muscle soreness that happens after overworking your muscles. It can be used by mouth or as a rub.

There are other remedies that can be very helpful. Check the links that follow for homeopathic information.

Rest

Other home remedies include hot baths, massage, and rest. Try to allow the body time to heal itself and don't push yourself to do things that could impede the healing of your body.

We are such a fast paced society that we don't like allowing ourselves times of rest and healing, but often this is the best remedy of all.

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    • profile image

      Pharmd404 5 years ago

      Very nice site!

    • profile image

      snusmani@YAHOO.COM 5 years ago

      no dought it is great information to me i often suffer from this muscles tention

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      Very interesting, Marye. I try to use natural things as much as possible...they are generally safer. Great article.

    • profile image

      WhydThatHappen 5 years ago

      How do you ensure that the herbs you're buying are high quality? When I buy herbal supplements I'm always aware that the contents of my purchase may not equate to the description on the package.

      And on this list, kava's effects are surprisingly strong, I wasn't prepared for the strength of the numbing sensation.

      I'd love more in depth reviews of each herb listed. Voting up as interesting and sharing

    • profile image

      lynn 5 years ago

      people are combining remedies that can be dangerous. Hope everyone does not believe everything they read on the internet.....and speak to a professional licensed physican or pharmicist before self medicating.

    • fish oil blog profile image

      fish oil blog 5 years ago

      This is great information to know. I often have muscle tension, and hate the idea of pharmaceutical drugs. I've taken Valerian for sleep before, but didn't realize it was a muscle relaxer.

    • Marye Audet profile image
      Author

      Marye Audet 5 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      Not a clue....lol

    • Ciel Clark profile image

      Ciel Clark 5 years ago from USA

      I've tried some of these ideas, but thanks for the info on all the others. This hub looks great--I just started and I am trying to figure out how to get my hubs to look as clean and professional as this, so if you have any tips..

      Also, does anyone out there have any tips on how to get a husband interested in giving massages??

    • profile image

      Happypappy 5 years ago

      Ok, so now that the gentlemen demonstrating the mind body relationship has finished his talk here, where is his program able to be found? Anyone know?

    • profile image

      muscle pain relief jacksonville 5 years ago

      This is a very good tips especially to those new who have problem in their back , brief and accurate information… Thanks for sharing this one.

      Regards:

      muscle pain relief jacksonville

    • profile image

      Kathy 5 years ago

      Forgot to mention I also use a topical rub of Menthol and Arnica on lower back,hip and knees.

    • profile image

      Kathy 5 years ago

      For the past 8 months I've been suffering from pain in my hip, legs and lower back. Had an MRI, diagnosis spinal stenosis and bulging discs. Went to Physical therapy, Chiropractor and had Acupunture treatments, none of which provided relief. Finally tried an herbal supplement combo of Valerian, skullcap,hops,and chamomile before bedtime, and one 325mg. asprin,one tylenol and 400mg.of magnesium in the morning. HUGE improvement!! Pain free and improved sleep, and now I'm able to resume semi-normal activities without much restriction. Can stand and walk for several hours at a time instead of 30-40 min. I feel like I'm getting my life back!

    • profile image

      RJ 5 years ago

      No mention of any nutrient for an ailment should be made unless the exact dosages used is given.

    • profile image

      Johannes Klupfel 5 years ago

      I had the Medtronics stimulator implanted twice (the first time the surgeon put the battery on a horizontal plane and it would not charge) and am now awaiting removal of the unit and spinal paddle. This product did not work for me and has been incredibly aggravating. Despite repeated attempts, the unit could not be programmed to provide any level of relief and generally just caused stimulation to my bladder, resulting in feeling as if I had to urinate constantly. VERY ANNOYING! Unable to use it to any benefit, the battery died and now all must be removed because the hard battery in my hip leaves the area feeling constantly bruised and sore. This was such a waste of time, money and was very painful. I can't wait to have it removed! I had torn lumber disks following an accident and had fusion surgery (posterior/anterior) and accepted the stimulator in an attempt to get off of opiate pain medication. I try to get by with a fentanyl patch and low dose percocet, along with naproxen and lidocaine patches but most days I am on a heating pad in bed all day. All of this has given me terrible depression to the point that I may only leave the house once a week for groceries. There must be help for people in my situation but the stimulator implant wasn't it in my case. Everyone is different and I wish the best of luck on those who try the implant surgery. Be aware that if you undergo a "trial" there is often a false sense of improvement which may be based on wishful thinking or other factors. It's very hard to tell if the unit is actually helping during a trial or if it could be due to the increased pain medication to negate the trial surgery or whatever. I heard tales from the surgeon's assistants that they had older patients who often reported improved stimulation when in fact the techs were not changing or activating the device at the time, unbeknownst to the patient! So, do try to really evaluate the results. In my case, having the stim implant was a little lilke having a leash on all the time in that I had to be sure to keep the controller with me, keep it charged, and had to wear the battery charger (awkward and uncomfortable) often to keep the internal battery charged, especially when needing a high level of stimulation. Best of luck but I'd give anything to have my life back before my accident! Surgery has not helped me and I feel I have no life now. I'm only 50. Thank goodness for insurance as none of these procedures are cheap!

    • Xenonlit profile image

      Xenonlit 5 years ago

      Add me to the list of bookmarkers. Well done.

    • Dr Rockpile profile image

      Dr Rockpile 5 years ago from USA

      I definitely have to try some of these. I've had lower back pain since I was very young, and now have the added joy of very tight neck/shoulder muscles.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 6 years ago from Northern, California

      What a great article Mary. I had spinal surgery and sometimes the pain is just too much. I do Not like taking opiates or narcotics so prescription medications are not the answer for me personally. However, the Natural pain relief suggestions you provide here sound like a dream come true! Thanks for sharing the information. I found the presentation very in-depth yet easy to follow. Off to hit the health food store!

      Cheers~

      K9

    • profile image

      jess 6 years ago

      thank you. Best information on line so far.

      I am nursing lower back pain right now so will try some

      of your suggestions.

    • profile image

      midill 6 years ago

      I have very bad muscle cramps in my legs for the past 4 years since i was pregnant. I put them down to the extra weight and incorrect shoes at the time. I am getting treatment from a chiropradtor which is working brilliantly. At night I use pernaton gel(which is the original green lipped mussel extract gel) since I started using it I can get a good night sleep. I put it under my pillow at night and if I wake up in pain just rub some on the effected area. Great hub well done.

    • Marye Audet profile image
      Author

      Marye Audet 6 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      thank you, I hope you find something that works for you

    • profile image

      fashion 6 years ago

      Great hub with interesting info, especially for someone with muscles pain.Good job.

    • Freegoldman profile image

      Freegoldman 6 years ago from Newyork

      Great job.I have been experiencing such pain specially on my right leg because of some extreme biking.Thanks fr sharing.Hope these works out.

    • profile image

      Waterspirit 6 years ago

      Useful, thank you.

    • Sun-Girl profile image

      Sun-Girl 6 years ago from Nigeria

      Fantastic and great hub.

    • raguett profile image

      raguett 6 years ago

      Good hub...natural is always better then addictive persciptions... try soothing an aching body in a warm scented salt bath... does wonders.. to learn more about salt and other cheap home remedies see link... http://healthmad.com/conditions-and-diseases/top-w... Great hub:)

    • naturalpainrelief profile image

      David 6 years ago from Peterborough, Ontario

      Great info here. Personally, I am a big fan of using natural pain creams and ointments for my muscle and joint pain.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 6 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Very good hub with interesting info, especially for someone with chronic pain who wants to avoid the heavy-duty prescription meds. Thanks! Jaye

    • drakdestroier profile image

      drakdestroier 6 years ago

      The massage is good. And I'm not a big fan of prescription medicines. So a thing that works great for me is sleeping. :)

    • Shreevie profile image

      Shreevie 6 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      One of the herbs you did not mention is ginger - it's a great muscle relaxant/anti-inflammatory. I use it a lot. You can either cut and peel a small cube of the fresh ginger root and suck it (if you chew it you will get quite a jolt!) or grate the fresh ginger into curry. Or you can sprinkle the powdered form over stews or in your tea. I mix it into my "redbush" tea - works a treat!

    • Y. Kajitaka profile image

      Y. Kajitaka 6 years ago from Cartersville, GA

      I'm writing down Devil's Claw now. I'm sure my dad can use all the help I can find. T_T;

    • profile image

      emily 6 years ago

      What can help me with Endolymphatic Hydrops? I have had Tinnitus for 27yrs and now I get fluctuating deafness with ROARING Tinnius.This can be continuous for up to three days.It take a couple for days to recover from the mental exhaustion. This is regular, Ive had three weeks clear then suddenly one day clear in 8days.Im at my wits end. Emily

    • cwarden profile image

      cwarden 6 years ago from USA

      There are some really good suggestions here. I had no idea about most of these. I plan on trying one or more of these today. Very helpful information, Thank you.

    • Marye Audet profile image
      Author

      Marye Audet 6 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      Emilia, that is interesting. Thank you!

    • profile image

      Emilia 6 years ago

      Passiflora also makes you VERY sleepy. We use it in Brazil to help us sleep. The fruit (passion fruit) also helps sleep. Cut in half, scoop the seeds + pulp into a glass, fill with water, add sugar and drink. It's also delicious.

    • profile image

      Steroids uk 7 years ago

      i've always found massage gets ride of pain.

    • profile image

      Caleb "Muscles" Anthony 7 years ago

      I had no idea licorice had that effect! thats my one thing learned for the day! Cheers!

    • adorababy profile image

      adorababy 7 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      I love Chamomile and I do not only use it for pain relief but to calm and relax me as well.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Great Hub - have bookmarked for future reference. Wonderful information. I am writing on a frozen shoulder - will be sure to link back.

    • rocco071 profile image

      rocco071 7 years ago from by the lake

      Thanks Marye, I'll try some of these to sooth my sore muscles after heavy mountain biking :) Great post.

    • profile image

      Anja 7 years ago

      have recently tried myofacial release for sore/stiff neck/muscle spasms. can be painful but worked wonders. look it up. supposed to really help back and neck pain that is not responding to other treatments.

    • profile image

      MUSCLEPAINTHERAPY 7 years ago

      Interesting information, I never really thought about natural ways. I've always sought after tools and prescription drugs for muscle relief. I will have to test a few of these out!

      I do have a tool I use ALL the time to get relief from painful knots, it looks a little funky but it works wonders

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 7 years ago from US

      I use natural remedies also but some need to be warned there can be bad side effects with natural too. I had several days after taking Arnica that I felt I would die. I couldn't breath and had an allergy that burned deep into my flesh and even with my doctor's help I was days, getting over it.

    • Butterfly Lady profile image

      Butterfly Lady 7 years ago from Broken Arrow, OK

      I've always believed in all natural remedies and am a great fan of hands on healing with herbs. Great article. Good information.

    • profile image

      ADAM 7 years ago

      I have a tool that I use for self-massage. I find a lot of my back soreness is coming from trigger points that really tighten up my back.

      It really lets me pinpoint tight spots on my back with unbelievable control over the pressure I get to place on tight and sore areas. It's the next best thing to a deep tissue massage!

      I bought mine a few years ago when I separated my left shoulder which made my entire back tighten up terribly, causing me dull throbbing pain ALL DAY. It sucked but the tool helped me a lot. I actually just bought another one just for work a week or so ago. It looks a little weird and co-workers might look at you funny when you first use it in front of them but they'll be asking you to use it once they try it!!!!

    • Seen On TV profile image

      Seen On TV 7 years ago

      Nice ideas. I've tinkered around with herbs and homeopathy as pain remedies but to no avail. I do think that antioxadents can help because if you are not sick and have all your strength you will have less pain to be treated. I remember that any injury I had while being active was sports I was playing when I wasn't in shape or feeling sick. Those are the most dangerous times the bumps and bruises you pick up at those time require a lot of pain management. I have been traditionally an anti inflamatory type of guy. I'm not much for the pain pills which may be habit forming.

    • Adam80 profile image

      Adam80 7 years ago from Omaha, Nebraska

      Thanks for the info! I suffered from realy bad back and neck pain until I went to a chiropractor. Within a few weeks my pain has been more manageable and I didn't have to take harmful meds.

      There is more than one way to cure pain and I'm glad more people are finding it out.

    • jenaka profile image

      jenaka 7 years ago from Wind River Reservation

      Great Info, good job!

    • samboiam profile image

      samboiam 7 years ago from Texas

      Extremely helpful. Thanks for the information.

    • figment profile image

      Karli Duran 7 years ago from Texas

      Great information.

    • profile image

      Gerald 7 years ago

      Effective natural pain relief means more options for management and quality of life. At our clinic we use a combination of homeopathy, EFT and the indispensible shakti mat. The Shakti mat is great because you can use it anywhere and get imnmediate results.

    • artsroy profile image

      artsroy 7 years ago from ontario canada

      I have pain and I have found that medicinal marijuana is a great pain reliever. In Canada and parts of the U.S., medicinal marijuana is legal as long as you have a medical doctors approval. Finally, marijuana is being given the credit it deserves because it is one of the world's greatest plants.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      Thorough yet concise. You do excellent work. Thanks again!

    • profile image

      mhelm 7 years ago

      I am looking for relief from spasing muscles at night. It usually takes me about 3 hrs to finally get to sleep and thats after taking motrin and a hot shower. I have dealt with this for years and I am tired of takin prescription meds. I no longer want them in my system. I am going to try some of the remedies mentioned. Thanks all! I have faith they will work for me!

    • TheDreamArena profile image

      TheDreamArena 7 years ago

      Powerhouse antioxidants are being shown to eliminate mass numbers of physical ailments. It works to eliminate free radical stress that eventually leads to inflammation causing our pain and discomfort. Http://thehealthyedgeforlife.com.

    • rvsrinivasan profile image

      rvsrinivasan 7 years ago

      I was surfing through google. I was able to find that 'Almonds' of five numbers taken on everyday will reduce pains. I started and found myself free from any pains in my body. I have written hubs on various subjects of health. May please see and offer your valuable advice. Thanks a lot.

    • profile image

      Tom Brank 7 years ago

      Too many people are relying on drugs for sore and tight muscles. i went to my chiropractor and he sold me Formula 303. I've been using it now for 3 months and it works great as a natural muscle relaxant. Formula 303 has also been helping me relax so I can fall asleep.

    • joecseko profile image

      Joe Cseko jr 7 years ago from New York, USA, Earth

      Nicely done, my friend. Many people here, and elsewhere claim to possess an intimate knowledge of such things. After many years of Shaolin and Chinese herbology, I take my hat of to you; and humbly join your fan club.

    • RK Sangha profile image

      RK Sangha 7 years ago from USA

      A well written and useful hub. I rated up.

    • MikeNV profile image

      MikeNV 8 years ago from Henderson, NV

      Massage is great. And I'm not a big fan of prescription medications. But for short term use prescriptions work much faster and are more effective for acute injury. The problem is that doctors and patients alike only look to the prescription solution. Doctors in the USA are not trained to do anything but reach for the prescription pad. And people expect quick solutions in pill form. It's too bad that integrative medicine is not catching on in this country. It would save a lot of money and provide a lot better health for millions of people.

    • deestew profile image

      deestew 8 years ago from Kentucky

      I am feeling the pain in my back right now! I struggle with tense muscles in my shoulder area...usually after I have either spent an entire day standing on my feet doing hair or, sitting at this computer! lol -)

    • profile image

      Dr. Rob Simmons 8 years ago

      Try a chiropractor or applied kinesiologist for an effective natural alternative. It can prevent surgery. Great to hear you mentioned stress. That's one of the hardest things for patients to reduce.

    • profile image

      freud 8 years ago

      thanks for the information,,this is great. as its help me a lot

    • nancydodds1 profile image

      nancydodds1 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This is great information. Keep up the good work on pain relief. Thanks for sharing.

      You might find my hub on Herbal Remedies useful too.

    • profile image

      QuantumLeap 9 years ago

      thanks for the info, this is a great hub!

    • ninaredza profile image

      ninaredza 9 years ago from Malaysia

      I know a lot of people who like to buy the massage machines to untangle the stress in their muscles. For me, there's nothing more satisfying than a pair of strong hands to get deep into the muscles. Follow it with a great facial and top it of with a bowl of banana split!

      If you have a lot of interests and you can write to share them with us, we truly appreciate your gift!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      This is super helpful! I will be bookmarking the page to return. Thank you! Steph

    • rodney southern profile image

      rodney southern 9 years ago from Greensboro, NC

      Nice hub. I have problems with my neck and have tried some of these ideas.