As many as 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, whether from illness, injury, or delayed onset muscle soreness. Conventional pain relief methods like over-the-counter pain medications are the most common routes people take to remedy it.
Still, even over-the-counter pain medication can fall short, leaving chronic pain sufferers desperate for new solutions. If you’re looking for some out-of-the-box options, check out a few unexpected ways you can reduce muscle pain.
Have a Snack
Don’t worry. We aren’t trying to suggest you drown your misery in snack food. Certain foods help reduce muscle pain. A few options include:
- Tart cherry juice
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains
- Fatty fish
So next time you’re feeling sore and don’t want to take a Tylenol, have some cherry juice or some trail mix to help take the edge off.
“Laughter is the best medicine” is more than just an expression your grandmother embroidered onto your living room throw pillows.
When you have a good chortle, your body releases endorphins. These hormones boost your mood and help make you feel more content, but they’re also known painkillers. Laughter also helps reduce the production of the stress hormone cortisol. And given that stress leads to muscle tension, which leads to more pain, taking the time for a laugh is well worth it if you’re hurting.
Most of us have walked into a carpeted room and felt the shock of static electricity when we turned on a light. So the idea of putting electrodes on your skin and shocking yourself to relieve pain may make you skeptical at first.
But electrotherapy also helps the body produce endorphins and impacts how we perceive pain. As such, electrotherapy is a good choice to treat a variety of causes of muscle aches without needing to rely on medication.
Do Some Pilates
When we’re in pain, our first instinct is to do very little, so the idea of getting up in doing Pilates is an unexpected way to relieve muscle pain, to say the least. But Pilates helps ease muscle pain in a number of ways. For example, it:
- Improves spinal mobility
- Relieves tension
- Releases endorphins
- Strengthens muscles
That’s one of the reasons why doctors and physical therapists may recommend Pilates exercises like pelvic curls, supine spine twists, and side bends for those fighting lower back pain.