Back pain is a common reason for seeking medical treatment. According to statistics, around 10% of all Americans have back pain in a given year and 50 to 80% of American adults have had back pain at some time during their lives.
Typical back muscle pain symptoms include:
- sudden back pain onset;
- protective back stiffness;
- back muscle tenderness;
- localized back pain, with no radiation into the leg or buttock.
Chronic back pain is defined as pain which persists for 3 months or longer, even after the underlying cause of acute low back pain has been treated.
Back pain can occur for numerous reasons, including:
- degenerative disc disease;
- herniated disc;
- muscle strains;
- scoliosis (an abnormal curving of the spine);
- muscle injury;
- spondylitis (an inflammatory condition which mainly affects the joints in the lower back);
- vertebral fracture;
- narrowing of the spinal canal;
- pinched nerves.
You are at an increased risk for back pain if you:
- are a smoker;
- are sedentary;
- are obese;
- are of older age;
- engage in a high-impact physical exercise without warming up or stretching first.
An estimated 65 percent of the population has neck pain at one time or another.
Signs and symptoms include:
- pain which is commonly worsened by holding the head in one place for long periods;
- decreased capacity to move the head;
- muscle spasms and tightness.
The most common cause of acute neck pain is muscle injury.
Other causes include:
- whiplash – it is caused by a sudden jerking motion of the head and can lead to acute or chronic neck pain;
- spinal stenosis – it is an abnormal narrowing of the neural foramen or spinal canal which results in pressure on the nerve roots or spinal cord; this can be due to long-term inflammation caused by arthritis;
- injury – this may add pressure on the nerve roots or spinal cord;
- structural damage caused by infection or tumors;
- spondylosis – it is a general term for degenerative arthritic changes of the spine;
- fibromyalgia – it is a chronic condition which affects the muscles and bones, leading to widespread pain;
- a deformed natural curvature of the spine;
- emotional stress;
- brittle bones – this condition commonly occurs in knees or hands, however, it can also occur in the neck;
- slipped disc;
- rheumatoid arthritis – it may affect the occipital-cervical joint, the atlanto-
axial joint (a joint in the upper part of the neck between the 1st and 2nd cervical vertebrae), and the facet joints along the spine;
- prolonged use of technology including tablets, computers, and smartphones;
- sitting or sleeping in an awkward position.
There are some simple changes you can make in your daily routine that may help prevent neck pain, such as:
- sleep in a good position – try sleeping on your back with your thighs elevated on pillows or sleep on your side with a pillow between the knees;
- avoid carrying heavy bags with straps over your shoulder;
- use good posture – be sure your shoulders are in a straight line over the hips and the ears are directly over the shoulders when sitting and standing;
- smoking cigarettes (and second-hand smoking) can put you at higher risk of developing neck pain, therefore, if you smoke, quit; also, do not let anyone smoke in your house, workplace, or car;
- avoid tucking the phone between your shoulder and ear when you talk;
- adjust your chair, desk, and computer so that the monitor is at eye level;
- take frequent breaks, especially if you work long hours at your computer or travel long distances.
Leg cramps are a common condition where the muscles in the leg suddenly become painful and tight. Leg cramps generally only last several minutes, however, the pain can last for a day.
Many things can trigger a muscle cramp, including:
- a problem like a pinched nerve or spinal cord injury in the back or neck;
- use of some medications, including conjugated estrogens, intravenous iron sucrose, raloxifene (sold under the brand name Evista), naproxen (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug of the propionic acid class), and teriparatide (a potent anabolic agent used in the treatment of osteoporosis);
- poor blood circulation in the legs;
- pregnancy, particularly in the later stages;
- potassium deficiency;
- peripheral artery disease, a type of disease of the blood vessels that are located outside the brain and heart;
- magnesium deficiency;
- Parkinson’s disease – it is a disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain which produce dopamine;
- Addison’s disease – it is a deficiency of the hormones which are made in the adrenal cortex;
- working calf muscles too hard while practicing physical exercise;
- the use of oral birth control;
- muscle fatigue;
- motor neuron problems;
- being active in hot temperatures;
- venous insufficiency – it occurs when the valves don’t work as they should;
- not stretching enough;
- muscle fatigue;
- alcohol abuse;
- sarcoidosis – it is an inflammatory disease which affects the lungs and lymph glands;
- lead poisoning;
- cirrhosis (a late stage of scarring of the liver);
- cancer treatment;
- type 2 diabetes mellitus;
- hemodialysis – it is a treatment to filter water and wastes from the blood;
- hypokalemia – it is a low level of potassium in the blood serum;
- chronic kidney failure (the gradual loss of kidney function over a period of years);
- gastric bypass surgery.
List Of Strongest Natural Muscle Relaxers For Back Pain, Neck Pain, And Leg Cramps:
Capsaicin is a compound that is found in chili peppers which makes them spicy. It is linked with the improvement of obesity, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
When applied topically in the form of a cream, it may promote the release of substance P, a neuropeptide (neurotransmitter) which may help naturally to promote pain relief.
Turmeric is the main spice in the Indian dish curry and is coined as the most powerful spices of all.
It has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and healing attributes which help boost your overall health and immunity and fight body ache.
Garlic is used for many conditions related to the blood system and the heart.
The selenium in garlic has an antirheumatic effect, while the sulfur in garlic helps to relieve inflammation.
Valerian (scientifical name – Valeriana officinalis) is a flowering herb which has been used therapeutically since ancient times.
It has sedative, anxiolytic, antibacterial, anticonvulsant, antiseptic, anti-diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic properties.
Arnica montana, also known as leopard’s bane or wolf’s bane, is a centuries-old natural remedy for sore muscles which is used as the main ingredient in a variety of OTC medications.
#6 Devil’s Claw
It is a claw-shaped fruit which has been used for hundreds of years by the South African tribes to treat arthritis pain as well as a remedy for inflammation.
Both dried and fresh rosemary leaves can be used to reduce the pain and to soothe inflamed muscle tissues quickly.
#8 Boswellia serrata
The resin of Boswellia serrata extract has been used for centuries in African and Asian folk medicine.
By turning off the pro-inflammatory cytokines which start the inflammatory process, the extract provides potent anti-inflammatory activity in areas where there is chronic inflammation.
In a recent study, a combination of turmeric and Boswellia was more effective in reducing pain than celecoxib, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
Known for its anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and analgesic properties, peppermint may be beneficial for relieving the symptoms of muscle pain and spasms.
Pomegranate has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, therefore, this fruit is considered a natural medicine to help relieve muscle pain.
Moreover, the fruit works to improve and restore muscles, according to scientists from the University of Texas.
These remarkable fruits have a high concentration of anthocyanins, water-soluble vacuolar pigments that help with muscle inflammation, damage, and oxidative stress.
#12 Birch Essential Oil
It gives muscle pain relief, reduces swelling, reduces pain from rheumatism, and reduces inflammation.
#13 Epsom Salt
Epsom salt helps to reduce swelling by drawing excess fluids out of the muscle. In addition, Epsom salt is actually made up of magnesium sulfate, a natural muscle relaxant.
#14 Beet Juice
Beets are loaded with natural electrolytes, such as – sodium and potassium, that can help to replenish the electrolytes which were lost through sweat during a physical exercise session.
Ginger exhibits effective analgesic and anti-inflammatory attributes, that help in getting rid of body aches. Additionally, its rich phytochemistry gives it many health-promoting benefits.
#16 Blackstrap Molasses
It is the dark, viscous molasses which remains after maximum extraction of sugar from raw sugar cane. It contains magnesium, an essential mineral that is renowned for reducing muscle pains naturally.
#17 Better Sleep
Sleep allows the body to recuperate and rest, and an individual’s muscles may ache if they do not get sufficient sleep.
Aim for 7 or 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
#18 Reduce Your Stress Levels
In individuals who are stressed and unwell, the muscles may ache as the physical body struggles to combat infection or inflammation.
Tips for reducing your stress levels:
- learn to manage your time effectively;
- learn to relax; there are several ways to relax without using alcoholic beverages or drugs. Some of these methods are – mindfulness meditation, tai chi, yoga, and spending time in nature;
- instead of taking things too seriously, try laughing;
- take a warm bath for about half an hour (with Epsom salt);
- instead of feeling constantly frustrated, learn to accept what you cannot change;
- take ten minutes per day to breathe deeply;
- learn a new hobby;
- get involved in your favorite hobby;
- take a stress management class;
- start a physical exercise program, especially running or cycling;
- do something nice for yourself;
- plan fun activities with your friends or family;
- take a short nap during the day;
- eat regular meals that are focused on fresh fruits and vegetables;
- meet a friend for a chat or a walk;
- find a comfortable place for light reading;
- seek professional help for problems which continue to bother you.
Sources http://www.deakin.edu.au/ipan/our-research/chronic-lower-back-pain-study https://med.stanford.edu/pain/snapl/current-studies/back-pain.html https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2664516/ https://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2012/971328/ https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1836955312700681