To tell you the truth, some days the only exercise I get is from jumping to conclusions.🤣
(I’m working on it).
Unlike most people, my sore muscles are not caused by lifting weights at the gym, but more by lifting 2 small children (and their bicycles) at the park.
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However, no matter if your sore muscles are the result of your job, sitting too long, cold mornings, a bad mattress, accidental injury, or excessive exercising:
You CAN relieve your pain and reverse muscle pain through simple techniques and home remedies for sore muscles – in 30 minutes or less.
But first, it’s good tot know the cause of your sore muscles:
- 1 What’s Causing Your Sore Muscles?
- 2 The 3 Best Home Remedies for Sore Muscles
- 3 Herbal Remedies and Best Vitamins for Sore Muscles
What’s Causing Your Sore Muscles?
Generally, overuse, underuse, and misuse will all lead to sore muscles.
But even if you use your muscles correctly, you can experience pain.
It’s your body’s way of rebuilding itself.
It’s normal to have sore muscles after you exercise, play sports, or even do housework, especially if:
1. You’ve done an activity that you’re not used to (like after everyone’s first Yoga class)
2. You’ve suddenly kicked up your exercise intensity levels.
3. Your job requires prolonged sitting, standing, or lifting heavy stuff.
If you are very physically active, changes in your exercise routine cause “delayed onset muscle soreness“, which peaks within about 24 hours and then gradually gets better.
When you exercise or burn your muscles to exhaustion, tiny tears occur in muscle fibers. The body’s natural response to these tears is inflammation.
Inflammation causes pain.
(👉 See the 10 best natural supplements for pain relief)
Sore Muscles Are Caused by Inflammation
When a muscle is injured, no matter how tiny the injury may be, your body’s reaction is inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s attempt at self-protection and is a part of its immune system. It’s your body’s attempt to heal itself.
But, sometimes inflammation can cause further inflammation and can become self-perpetuating.
At the same time, your body sends healing nutrients through your blood to your sore muscles, trying to “fix” the problem (and, strangely, to reduce the same inflammation it initially created…).
The quickest sore muscle treatment is to increase your blood flow to the injured area (to get more healing nutrients faster) while reducing inflammation to the least necessary.
And achieving this fast sore-muscles-relief is simpler than you think.
The 3 Best Home Remedies for Sore Muscles
Here are 3 home remedies for sore muscles, which focus on inflammation-busting and blood circulation-boosting.
1. A Hot Bath
Most Experts (and some studies) say that an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel – is best for immediate relief.
But it’s only for applying right after the activity.
If it’s been a few hours since your “extreme” activity – heat is better, because it gets your blood flowing and boosts your blood circulation.
You can always just soak in hot water (not too hot though) for half an hour and relax, while effectively boosting your blood circulation and relieving your pain.
Remedies to Add to Your Sore Muscles Bath
You can boost your healing process by adding 2 more things to your bath:
1. Epsom Salts – tried and true, Epsom salts (a cup or two) dissolved in warm water work wonders as an aching muscle remedy.
Epsom salts are made up of Magnesium Sulfate, a natural muscle relaxant, which is easily absorbed through your skin and pulls excess fluids out of your tissues (and reduces inflammation).
You can get the same benefits of Transdermal Magnesium by applying Magnesium oil topically on your sore muscles.
(👉 See more amazing benefits of Magnesium oil and how to use it).
2. Essential Oils – a number of essential oils and essential oils blends can very helpful as a sore muscle remedy.
I like to use dōTERRA Deep Blue blend, which contains Wintergreen, camphor, peppermint, blue tansy, German chamomile, helichrysum, and osmanthus.
Generally, Basil essential oil, Majoram, Roman Chamomile, Peppermint, Lavender, and Birch can be a great addition to your sore muscle soak.
Birch essential oil is recommended by many holistic medicine experts. It can reduce swelling (edema), relieve muscle pain, reduce inflammation, and reduces pain from rheumatism.
Just add about 5-8 drops of your favorite essential oil or blend to your bath.
You can also apply these oils topically. To use essential oil for muscle pain, add one to two drops of the essential oil into one tablespoon of carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil, and apply to the pain area.
2. Infrared (Deep Penetrating) Heating Pad
In my humble opinion (and experience), a far-infrared heating pad is the all-time best natural remedy for sore muscles (and the quickest!).
Whenever I get to the point that I can’t pull supermarket shopping carts apart – I take out my infrared heating pad and lock myself in my bedroom for quick relief.😜
Because deep penetrating red light therapy is a non-invasive, side-effect-free, and cost-effective home pain treatment. We actually call it our home doctor.
My infrared heating pad uses natural Jade stones to emit deep penetrating light (at 880 nm), which penetrates to a depth of about 30-40mm (unlike electric heating pads which only heat your skin).
Here’s what it looks like:
It provides soothing heat (which is 100% safe – Neonatal care units use it to keep infants warm), boosts blood circulation, and reduces inflammation.
And for me, it works in 30 minutes – every time.
Since I know how this little thing can be life-changing, I suggest you read more about the amazing benefits of infrared heating pads
(Some of them are effortless weight loss and full body detox).
Can you afford regular massage sessions?
Great. Go for it.
I can’t, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t get the same benefits DIY-ing it at home.
Massage boosts your blood circulation, gets your blood moving all over your body, and helps reduce the number of cytokines the body produces, which play a role in inflammation.
A self-massage tool can be an unbelievably fast remedy for sore muscles. Sometimes the pain relief is immediate.
If muscle knots are the cause of your sore muscles (muscle fibers that contract, but don’t release, causing tiny cramps and “knots”), a self-massage tool (like the Theracane or the Body Back Buddy) can be your new best friend.
If you want to take it up a notch, go for an infrared massager. This one combines infrared heat with different massage heads and are very effective.
Herbal Remedies and Best Vitamins for Sore Muscles
You’ve heard the unofficial definition of Aerobic exercise, right?
“Aerobics: a series of strenuous exercises which help convert fats, sugars, and starches into aches, pains, and cramps.”
No, I’m not saying you should prevent muscle aches from exercising by not exercising. For the movers and (butt) shakers, sore muscles are a part of life.
But there are a few ways to prevent sore muscles, especially if it’s becoming a chronic problem for you.
1. Vitamins and Minerals – lack of minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium are often associated with ongoing muscle soreness.
Through my research, I’ve found that adding Magnesium, either through your diet/supplements or through Transdermal Magnesium, can reduce achy muscle occurrence.
Low levels of Magnesium in your body can lead to general muscle aches and muscle cramps. You may want to consider a high-quality supplement, but you can start by including Magnesium-rich foods in your diet.
Some of the top food sources for magnesium are molasses (1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses in a glass of water daily), squash and pumpkin seeds, spinach, Swiss chard, cocoa powder, black beans, flax seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, and cashews.
As for transdermal Magnesium, which is considered the most effective way of absorbing Magnesium, you can do the Epsom Salts bath regularly, or apply Magnesium oil before and after your activities.
2. Tart Cherry Juice – Tart Cherry juice may have anti-inflammatory properties and may be effective at reducing muscle pain and soreness. For example, a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has found:
There was a significant difference in the degree of muscle strength loss between those drinking the cherry juice blend and those taking the dummy mixture…Muscle strength even improved slightly after 96 hours in those drinking cherry juice.
You can generally only find tart cherries available fresh in season or frozen, but tart cherry juice is available year-round online. I really like this one:
👉 See more proven health benefits of Tart Cherry Juice
3. Watermelon Juice – if you have a juicer, try juicing about one-third of fresh watermelon and drinking it before your next activity/workout.
This contains about one gram of l-citrulline, an amino acid that seems to protect against muscle pain (Source).
For example, this study found that men who drank natural unpasteurized watermelon juice prior to their workouts had reduced muscle soreness 24 hours later compared to those who drank a placebo.
Please don’t tell my husband and kids, but sometimes I do absolutely nothing about my sore muscles – at least for a couple of hours.
That’s because I’ve found a secret bonus: it’s a great excuse to take a little vacation in my bedroom and definitely the best way to get a good massage from my hubby.
No matter if you’re muscles are sore from doing house chores, trying to get buns of steel, or from your daily strenuous job, you can get fast muscle pain relief by yourself at home, in 30 minutes – any day.
To your health and happiness,
Mac Auley DC. Ice therapy: how good is the evidence? Int J Sports Med. 2001 Jul;22(5):379-84.
Reno AM, Green M, Killen LG, O’Neal EK, Pritchett K, Hanson Z. Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Muscle Soreness and Performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2022 Aug 1;36(8):2198-2203.
Tarazona-Díaz MP, Alacid F, Carrasco M, Martínez I, Aguayo E. Watermelon juice: potential functional drink for sore muscle relief in athletes. J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Aug 7;61(31):7522-8.
Kuehl KS, Perrier ET, Elliot DL, Chesnutt JC. Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running: a randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 May 7;7:17.