Muscle spasms can happen to anyone, anytime. They can affect any of the muscles on your body. Although it’s less common, muscle spasms can even occur internally in your intestines, bladder, and arteries where you have what’s known as “smooth muscles.”
The most common types of muscle spasms are in the arms, hands, abdomen, feet, and legs. They are often most noticeable in the legs as that’s where some of our largest muscle groups are, although they can be just as painful anywhere. Whether they’re painful or just annoying, you need to know how to treat them. Using natural remedies for muscle spasms is the safest and often most reliable way to stop and prevent them. Read on to learn how to get rid of muscle spasms naturally.
Why Do We Get Muscle Spasms?
There are a variety of reasons why we get muscle spasms. The most common causes revolve around overuse, previous injuries, and straining the muscle. If a muscle cell runs out of energy and fluid, it becomes hyperexcitable. This causes the forceful contraction which is a “spasm”.
This is why muscle spasms are most common during or after exercise. Overusing your muscles, not warming up properly, or even doing exercises that are new or different can shock a muscle into spasm.
At the same time, it’s just as easy to get muscle spasms from low impact or low energy activities such as typing on a keyboard or picking up an object. If you overuse your muscles with repetitive actions or lifting something suddenly, it can cause muscle spasms.
How to Naturally Treat Muscle Spasms
There are a number of natural ways to treat muscle spasms, as well as preventing future spasms. Try one or more of the following:
Rest is the easiest natural medicine for muscle spasms. If you experience a spasm, it’s likely due to muscle exhaustion or over use. Take any weight or strain off your muscle, stop your activity, and rest it. You can also use a heating pad or ice pack for immediate relief if it’s particularly painful.
Take more care to rest in between exercising to reduce the chance of having spasms. Get a good 8-hour night’s sleep and avoid overtraining or exercising without warming up and stretching properly.
Stretch Properly Before Working Out
Stretching before working out decreases the chance of experiencing spasmodic muscles during your workout. It’s important to stretch and warm up as it increases blood flow to your muscles to prevent strains and injuries.
Gently stretching or holding a stretched position can also help relieve spasms when they happen.
Use Heat or Cold Therapy
Applying heat to a spasmodic muscle helps release the tension causing the spasms. There are various heat packs/pads you can buy to have handy, or you can take a hot bath, use a warm towel, etc.
Heat is more effective than not using anything. It penetrates deeper into the muscle. It also dilates blood vessels, which increases blood flow and reduces pain.
Cold therapy is better if you’re in a lot of pain. Apply an ice pack to the affected muscle and gently massage until the spasms stop. This should help reduce swelling along with the pain.
Chamomile Tea and Oil
Chamomile is among the most potent natural herbs for muscle spasms. Indeed, the healing power of chamomile in relation to muscle soreness has a long history. People used it for centuries as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, mild astringent, and healing medicine. The modern-day uses of chamomile include reducing muscle spasms due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
If you suffer from muscle spasms on a regular basis, try drinking a cup of chamomile tea each morning. Or, when you experience a spasm, you can massage chamomile essential oil directly onto the affected muscle to relieve the pain and treat the spasm.
If you enjoy spicy foods, this might be the natural medicine you’re looking for. Cayenne pepper contains a substance called capsaicin. Capsaicin is what gives this spice its “heat”, and this compound triggers a biochemical reaction in our bodies that has both anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects.
You don’t have to eat cayenne pepper if it’s not to your tasting. There are over-the-counter patches, oils, and gels containing capsaicin that you can apply topically to muscle spasms.
To better understand your body and how it reacts to physical activity, read more about wellness and natural remedies for muscle spasms.