We all have those aches and pains that come and go each day. They might be a little twinge in the small of your back or perhaps a dodgy joint that flares up from time to time.
But while you might just try to ignore them, really, you should be looking for ways to make them better – or at least stop them from getting worse.
Most aches and pains are due to repeated movements or strains put on our bodies. As parents, we can all see how quickly that can happen as we attempt to keep up with the kids! The good news is that with a little self care and over the counter treatments, you won’t have to struggle on for long.
Here are a few things you might like to try.
Over the Counter Creams
If you struggle with occasional joint pain, an over the counter cream for joint pain relief could be just what you need to halt your symptoms. Some creams do contain anti-inflammatory properties such as ibuprofen which helps with injury recovery.
Others heat the area which helps to loosen the muscles and provide release. While you should be wary of using an anti-inflammatory over a long period of time, you can use non-medicinal creams regularly and as you require.
Over the counter creams are ideal for occasional pains – especially those caused by accidents or over-working during exercise.
However, don’t let yourself become too reliant on these creams. You should always look for the cause of the pain and try to treat that rather than simply hide the symptoms.
Epsom Salt Bath
A hot bath is always going to make you feel better since it represents one of those rare moments you actually get to yourself! Warm baths are well known for their calming properties and can even improve your mood. Taking a warm bath before bed can even help you to get to sleep.
Adding epsom salts is a great idea if you have a few aches and pains.
The idea is that the magnesium helps to soothe the skin and reduce any swelling. The warm water is also a valuable tool. The heat encourages blood flow which relaxes your muscles and helps to relieve a build up of lactic acid.
You can also add some bubble bath to make for an even more luxurious soak. Light some candles, switch off the main lights and recline peacefully for the best results. Of course, if you really want to make the most of bathtime, you could invest in a hydrotherapy tub which uses water jets to massage your muscles.
Though aches and pains tend to make us want to hide under a duvet, actually, the best thing is to stick to a regular exercise routine. Walking, in particular, is really good for you as it stretches out the muscles in your legs and back.
If you are really struggling with your joints, you might like to try walking lengths of your local swimming pool. The water will support your weight, taking the stress off your joints.
Regular exercise is also the best way to build the strength of your muscles which are important for supporting your joints. One of the main reasons that elderly people struggle with their joints is that their muscle mass is reduced by inactivity. The more you can do – and continue to do – the more likely you will remain mobile in your old age.
Of course, exercising regularly is also good for your general health and maintaining a healthy weight.
If you are overweight, this could be putting a lot of strain on your muscles and joints, causing you pain. Losing excess fat is a good way to reduce this pain and regain your fitness. While weight loss is very much controlled by what you eat, getting into the habit of regular exercise will help to maintain your weight and increase your stamina.
Stretch and Flex
While exercise is great for building your muscles and stretching them out, it is all too easy to over-do it and end up feeling achy all over again! If this is the case, you should try to stretch and flex your muscles after exercising. Indeed, you might like to stretch out most days anyway to stay supple and flexible.
Yoga and pilates are ideal for stretching out your muscles but if you don’t fancy going to a class or working through a DVD, there are a few stretches you can try that are inspired by yoga.
These stretches, including the downward dog and hamstring stretch, will help to loosen up your joints as well as gently open up your muscles.
If you are really struggling with soreness, you would be well advised to seek the help of a physiotherapist. Physiotherapy takes a holistic approach to restoring movement and function. Usually, it incorporates various exercises, often quite similar to pilates or yoga, as well as massage. You can ask your doctor for a referral to a physiotherapist through the NHS or you can self refer for private treatment.
Make Bedtime More Comfortable
Since you spend almost a 3rd of your time in bed, making sure that your mattress is comfortable and supportive is vital. If you suffer with back pain – even mild back pain – you should definitely look for a more supportive mattress to ensure that your spine is properly aligned as you sleep. This will reduce the pressure on your spine and allow your muscles to relax fully.
You should also make sure that your pillows are supporting your neck properly. Neck pain is a real problem and tense muscles can even cause migraines.
If you are a side sleeper, you should make sure that your pillow is about the same height as the distance between your ear and shoulder while your head is straight. Back sleepers will likely prefer a flatter pillow. Trial and error may be frustrating but is the best way to find the perfect pillow.
We are all guilty of letting day to day aches and pains go without really looking into what causes them or how best to treat them. Hopefully, now that you have read this blog, you know what to do and you’ll do it!