Honestly, what is there to be stressed about these days…
…point taken. As a chiropractor in Springfield, IL I see patients every day who are wound up so tight I’m worried if I touch them the wrong way they’ll snap like a frayed rubber band. What a mess and a mound of paperwork that would be.
The idea of muscle relaxers is ingenious. A helpless, harmless way to release the pounds of tension our body is holding onto after a day of carpools, running late, Simon from accounting, Nana’s hoarding issue, the never-ending cycle of bills, and whatever chaos is unfolding in the news.
Synthetic muscle relaxers are actually highly addictive and quite dangerous if they’re not used correctly. Not to mention, over-the-counter muscle relaxers don’t fix the underlying problem. They shut off communication between the nervous system and the brain so we don’t feel pain, which may sound like a nice idea, but this comms blackout isn’t localized, it affects the entire body.
Taking a muscle relaxer for low back pain might relax spasming lumbar muscles, but it can also render our arms and legs and neck and eyes and mouth absolutely useless.
Sure, use them to fall asleep, just don’t come complaining to me in the morning when through a haze of brain fog it feels like a freight train ran over your body.
The idea is brilliant, up there with post-its and the little tool I bought to clean my AirPods, an absolute life changer, but there are so many alternative, natural muscle relaxers that won’t turn off the nervous system and cause a complete shutdown. Whether it’s lower back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, or headaches, these natural muscle relaxers are…
In a break with tradition, I’m starting in a very particular order. Chiropractic adjustments are unbeatable. They are a drug-free, non-invasive treatment for long-lasting pain relief. It’s because they don’t just chase the symptoms, they work to fix the underlying problem. We love practicality and efficacy.
At the Springfield Wellness Center, our focus is to make sure the nervous system is at its best by aligning the spine and ensuring proper structure and mobility. An optimized nervous system has no room for pain or dysfunction.
Pain is actually our body’s way of telling us…
Pain is a warning signal and a good one at that. We just have to listen to it. Prescription muscle relaxers hide the pain and push us past what our body would normally be comfortable with which exacerbates the pain and can lead to further injury. We don’t want to hide the pain we want to use it.
Therapeutic massage can help with all types of pain. And what a smorgasbord of types of massage to choose from, a glutton’s delight! Chronic muscle spasms and high-stress levels are no match for the natural muscle-relaxing effects of a good massage. Listening to our pain allows us to deal with the discomfort and cut it off at the source, giving our body everything it needs to heal.
Essential oils are an essential part of any holistic pain relief treatment. I love to push peppermint oil. I’m a peppermint oil pusher. It’s an incredible natural painkiller and muscle relaxant for sore muscles and aching back or a tension headache that just won’t quit. Applied topically, peppermint oil has been shown to relieve pain associated with fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome. Dilute it in a carrier oil and let it work its magic.
Other essential essential oils are lemongrass oil to improve circulation and accelerate healing, and frankincense to reduce inflammation.
More oil! Arnica comes in oils, creams, ointments, liniments, salves, basically any vehicle a person could ask for. Not to get too technical but a property in arnica oil effectively vasodilator the subcutaneous blood capillaries to facilitate circulation of blood and other nutrients that act as an anti-inflammatory aid to the healing process.
Just trust me! It stimulates the flow of white blood cells and releases trapped fluid from muscles, joints, and bruised tissue.
Still more oil! Cannabis gets a bad wrap but its ability to inhibit neuronal transmission in pain pathways is what makes it such a popular natural painkiller to relieve chronic pain and inflammation. But as my dad always told me before going out with friends in high school, “Make smart choices.”
Magnesium is an oft-overlooked pain reliever and muscle relaxer. I take magnesium every night, it helps relax my muscles after a workout and prepare my body for some grade A sleep. Muscle pain, cramps, even fibromyalgia can be signs of magnesium deficiency in the body. Soaking in Epsom salt can increase internal magnesium levels and lower inflammation.
A Diet Void of “Pain Foods”
Some food causes pain. And I’m not just talking about Thanksgiving with the in-laws.
Sugar, alcohol, and trans fats all trigger inflammation and therefore increase pain. Caffeine dehydrates the body. Excess calories exacerbate stress on the bones, joints, and muscles throwing off the body’s center of gravity.
It’s hard to hear, since brown butter Rice Krispie treats make life worth living, but diet is critical to a healthy life. Diet is critical to a healthy life. That’s not a typo. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this concept, while I am a genius I can’t take credit for this. We are what we eat. The quality of fuel we put into our body will determine how well it runs. We are all Bentleys and deserve premium.
Don’t Rest Too Much
Movement is life. In fact, a lack of movement can lead to decreased joint mobility, deformities in spinal structure, and atrophying of muscles. Even though it might seem like a good idea to rest when it comes to muscle strain or spasms, going about normal activities, even if it’s at a slower pace, helps keep muscles loose and reduce inflammation.
Be smart and don’t overdo it, definitely avoid movements that may aggravate pain. Take some me-time, cry about how life is unfair, catch up on Top Chef, and then get back out there. Light activity can actually speed up recovery time.
There are plenty of DIY muscle relaxer recipes strewn across the internet, but these are some simple solutions to natural pain relief. Obviously, we believe chiropractic care should be the first stop. Chiropractic treatment is a great way to prevent pain and injury in the first place, not to mention an effective way to reduce pain and address the underlying cause of that pain.
Call us or schedule a time to meet with one of our doctors. We want to take the time to get to know each patient and understand what they’re dealing with and how it’s affecting their lives. From there we can set health goals and design a plan to get them there, stronger than ever!