Tips for healing muscle, joint and back pain
Of all 7 body systems, the musculoskeletal system tends to be most susceptible to general day to day pain and niggling ailments.
Your musculoskeletal system is called upon daily to move you through time and space and to perform more vigorous activities, so it makes sense that over time and distance, stress and degeneration of the bones, joints and muscles can occur.
It's no secret that movement is crucial for maintaining a strong, healthy functioning physical body, but excessive tension and over exertion can also contribute to injuries and degeneration, so it's important that you find that 'happy medium', particularly as you age, to avoid muscular degenerative dis-eases like fibromyalgia.
Innocuous muscular conditions like cramps are typically caused from muscular fatigue, inadequate stretching and dehydration from depletion of salt and minerals (electrolytes).
That's why during rigorous, physical exercise, it's important to not only drink plenty of clean water, but to ensure that you're getting enough good (nature-made) salt into your body also.
The original 'gatorade' was ingenious when it was created, but unfortunately the 'sports drink' industry has been bought into and today these products are laced with additives that make them a shadow of their former self.
If you want to try preparing your own sports drink, simply add celtic sea salt, lemon juice (and raw honey if desired) to 1 litre of pure cold water. Bingo!
If you suffer from muscle pain, be sure to increase your intake of potassium and magnesium rich foods like prunes, bananas, leafy greens, avocados, nuts, seeds and raw organic chocolate. Your muscles rely on these nutrients to maintain suppleness, elasticity, proper cellular function and energy production.
To heal more serious muscular conditions like fibromyalgia, here are some important tips:
- Move your body. Low-impact walking and aquatic exercise is best for 20-30 minutes per day;
- Soak in a hot salt bath of natural salts and essential oils at least 3-4 times per week;
- Avoid processed sugar and artificial sweeteners as they deplete the immune system for up to 14 hours after ingestion;
- Avoid packaged and processed foods;
- Increase your intake of cold pressed plant oils like Olive, Macadamia, Coconut and Flaxseed.
JOINT & BACK PAIN
Joint pain and swelling can form due to over exertion, previous injuries that haven't properly healed and/or a lack of nutrients required by the musculoskeletal system to perform it's highest function.
To avoid joint pain it's important to not overdo a particular exercise that focuses on just one muscle group, as this places too much stress on one particular site of the body. Instead, regularly do a range of physical movements and activities that utilise all parts of the body.
Plant based oils and balms like Lavender and Peppermint Oil, Golden ReLeaf Oil and my Healingchrysum balm can all be very effective when applied to the site of the pain and I'd recommend you have these in your 'medicine cabinet' at home.
Specific foods and tips that can assist joint health and healing are:
- Fresh cherries - mother nature's greatest pain reliever;
- Avocados and cold pressed plant oils;
- Celery which contains similar nutritional construct as the bones;
- Bananas, tomatoes, leafy greens, citrus, potatoes and cabbage;
- At least 8 glasses of pure water per day;
- Raw organic cacao and chocolate;
- Plenty of nature-made salt in the diet like Celtic or Himalayan. Remember that salt, when mixed with water and sunlight ionises into CALCIUM (which we all know is what bones are made of).
When it comes to back pain, 4 out of every 5 adults will experience some form of back pain in their life.
But most times, the severity of the back pain is not related to the extent of the physical damage. By this I mean that a simple back strain can cause excruciating pain, making it difficult to even stand upright or walk, whilst a large herniated or degenerated disc can be almost painless.
To treat back pain, I'm a big fan of what anciently they referred to as, "The Healing Hands" i.e. therapeutic massage, osteopathic and chiropractic.
Secondly, one of the best exercises you can do to alleviate back pain at home is bent leg push ups. I recommend stretching when you rise and then doing 20 when you rise in the morning and 20 in the evening before bed.
Movement distributes nutrients into the disc space and soft tissues in the spine to keep the muscles, ligaments and joints healthy. Besides bent knee push ups, I recommend brisk walking, yoga and swimming because they're low impact and extremely healing.
On the flip side, if you don't move enough you're going to stiffen and weaken your joint conditioning.
Generally a back pain exercise or rehabilitation program should encompass a combination of stretching (particularly hamstring), stabilisation and low impact exercise.