Pain in the ???

Muscle pain can be challenging and limiting. There is nothing like being held back by painful, uncooperative muscles.

First thing to try is magnesium. Those muscle fibers use calcium to contract and magnesium to relax. Many patients are deficient in magnesium, leading to cramps of all sorts, heart palpitations and myriad other muscle related symptoms. There are several types of magnesium and patients react differently to the different forms. Heat can often relax the intermittent pain that comes with injuries and again magnesium in the form of epsom salt baths. Our goal with heat and magnesium is to relax the muscles so they can release toxins. In general, diarrhea is a sign of too much magnesium supplementation. Magnesium alone has the potential to resolve muscle pain or growing pains, menstrual cramps, as well as anxiety.

Next in our tool box is anti-inflammatories in the form of herbs. Curcumin is probably the most common used. It does seem to work at the right dose, particularly for knee pain. Many patients have tried curcumin on their own and are disenchanted with it since low quality products don’t work. We use high doses in our La Mesa Naturopathic Medical Clinic and forms that have the same standardized amount for each dose so patients get the same results every time. Another favorite anti-inflammatory for me is Shea Butter – yeah, that stuff you put on your skin, but internally it can do wonders for certain kinds of pain. There are many more herbal options and we choose them based on what else is going on in the body. For example, adequate doses of Boswelia is great for patients with pain and unstable bowel symptoms.

Preventing inflammation in the muscles can be even more powerful than anti-inflammatories. Getting foods that are nourishing rather than inflammatory can take some time to work into your lifestyle. The big inflammatory food groups that wreck havoc in your muscles are sugar. Then there are those oils that are processed and changed beyond anything recognizable in nature. Processed foods in general just make it harder for those muscle fibers to relax and let go. Nourish your muscles with healthy meats, lots of veggies (which work well in stir-fries and soups) nuts, fruits, olive oil, coconut oil, and whole grains like quinoa and wild rice.

Another way to nourish those muscles is by doing a series of B12 shots. Whether these help you detox excess toxins or supply needed B12 to your nerves, B12 shots seem to work when muscle pain is stubborn.

The ultimate goal is to find the cause of the muscle pain – autoimmune, chronic viral infections, hormonal issues can cause stubborn, aggravating muscle pain. There are some temporary help options for these ailments but until you get to the bottom (turn off the spicket) of whatever’s feeding the inflammation in the muscles, the relief is temporary.

Cheers to healthy, functioning muscles! If you need help with your muscle pain, we the team at Journey of Health are here to help you find your answers.

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