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Woman clutching her back mid-race on an athletics track due to lower back pain.
PainLower Back Pain When Running: 5 Tips to Get Back in the RaceAfter looking forward to running during the week, the last thing you want is lower back pain. Unfortunately, it’s an issue that many runners battle with, and for various reasons. Running is good for building cardiopulmonary endurance so you don’t fatigue easily, but it takes a toll on your spine. Lower back pain when running may be due to improper technique, poor footwear, muscle strain, repetitive stress, structural malalignment causing pelvic drop or hip extension, and several other causes. Without proper management, it can send you off track and keep you away from what you love doing. Whatever the cause, there are easy ways you can alleviate lower back pain when running. Here are 5 tips to get you back in the race pain-free. » Wondering about using CBD for back pain 1. Take Time to Warm Up A warm-up routine involves low-intensity exercises done to ready your muscles, raise your metabolism, improve your cardio, improve joint load distribution, and reduce the risk of injury. Always include a warm-up program before your race. To warm up before running, you should target the same muscle groups you will use during the race. You can do this through dynamic stretches, taking a brisk walk, and walking lunges. You can also stretch your muscles or jog at a slow pace to prime them for greater action. Again, once you are done running, ensure you cool down. The cool-down phase allows you to transition smoothly from the running state to a state of res It and reduces your risk of injury. 2. Improve Your Core Strength There is more to strengthening your core than building six-pack abs. Strong abdominal muscles can prevent back pain as they help you maintain a good posture, balance, and limit awkward movements. They also aid in force transmission through the muscles instead of the spine, reducing the risk of tension in the lower back that can lead to pain. Before running and at regular sessions throughout the week, you can focus your exercises on the abs and lower trunk muscles. Examples of exercises for the abdominals include elbow plank, abdominal crunch, push-up, Russian twist, and panther. » Discover the best menopause-friendly exercises for joint pain 3. Adjust Your Running Form Do everything to run with a proper technique. A bad running technique can also contribute to lower back pain. Ideally, you should consider the following when running: While you run, keep your eyes and chest forward. Avoid staring at your shoes; instead, keep your eyes about 10-20 feet forward.Keep your shoulders level and avoid slouching.Keep your arms free at your side, using a relaxed arm swing.While you run, avoid striking the floor with your heels. Instead, aim to strike the floor with your midfoot.Use the appropriate running shoe for your running terrain. Poor support can throw you off balance and affect how force is transmitted through your spine, predisposing you to back pain and injury. 4. Avoid Overtraining and Build Up Slowly No matter your running level, ensure you stay within your limits and avoid overtraining. Pushing yourself beyond your limits can cause strain on your ligaments and muscles, leading to adverse forces that cause severe lower back pain when running. A practical way to do this is to space your running, going no more than four times a week. Ensure you rest adequately in between your running days. Also, you should avoid overexerting your muscles; do not increase your speed and distance simultaneously, as this can place undue pressure on you. Instead, aim for progressive overload where you improve your running performance slowly over time. 5. Try Supplements Several supplements can help prevent or relieve lower back pain so you can run without pain. These supplements provide a natural alternative to treating back pain with analgesics and often contain the following elements: Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, CBD Oil, and others. » Learn more with our posts about treating chronic pain bain at home with CBD oil and functional mushrooms Lower Back Pain When Running Should Not Persist Exercise may be effective at treating lower back pain, but be careful before you start any exercise regimen as you open yourself up to injury without the proper preparation. While some muscle soreness is normal when you go from long periods of being sedentary to exercising, it shouldn't incapacitate you or persist for more than a few days. Ensure you consult a doctor or physiotherapist before attempting any stretches or exercises if you experience lower back pain when running.
Elderly woman sitting at table and rubbing her inflamed shoulder due to menopause joint pain
Pain4 Oestrogen-Boosting Lifestyle Tips for Menopause Joint PainDuring menopause, there is a drop in the female sex hormone, oestrogen, which triggers numerous menopausal symptoms (1). Oestrogen is important for maintaining bone and joint health in women, while low oestrogen reduces natural bone density, muscle strength, and tendon health. Joint lubrication is also affected, resulting in joint pain and inflammation. Increasing your oestrogen levels may help overcome some menopausal symptoms, such as joint pain. That being said, here are our top 4 ways to boost oestrogen naturally. » Read more: Menopause Joint Pain Natural Remedies 1. Consume Phytoestrogen-Rich Foods Consuming phytoestrogen-rich foods helps reduce the severity and frequency of menopause side effects such as hot flashes, mood swings, and joint pain. Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring compounds found in plants that have estrogen-like effects on the body (2). They mimic the function of estrogen and can provide relief from menopausal discomforts. Foods that are high in phytoestrogen include the following: Flax seeds These are the highest in phytoestrogen.Soy foods Try foods such as tofu, tempeh, miso, and soymilk.Fruits Some great fruit choices include oranges, cherries, or blueberries.Vegetables Our top vegetable picks are carrots and broccoli.Legumes Healthy all round, incorporate some lentils, alfalfa sprouts, or mung beans into your diet.Nuts The best choices are pistachios, cashews, and almonds. 2. Ensure You Are Getting the Right Vitamins and Minerals Certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lower oestrogen. Supplementing with the right vitamins and minerals should improve estrogen levels. Consider the following vitamins and minerals and where you can find them: Vitamin D Found in oily fish, red meat, and egg yolks, vitamin D is essential for bone and muscle function. It has potent anti-inflammatory properties that help in relieving joint pain and inflammation.Vitamin B complex Found in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chickpeas, and leafy green vegetables like cabbage, kale, and spinach, vitamins B2, B6, folate, and B12 are important for bone health. They help in maintaining bone structure, quality, and bone mass, while reducing pain and the risk of fractures. Boron Found in milk, apples, beans, and potatoes, this mineral helps in vitamin D metabolism, which, in turn, helps maintain bone health. Boron also helps in calcium and magnesium absorption, which are crucial in joint and bone formation. Boron influences estrogen receptors and allows the body to use estrogen better (3).Omega-3 Found primarily in fish and nuts, omega-3 can help reduce inflammation and provide relief to joint pain. In fact, it is as efficient as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in reducing inflammatory pain (4).DHEA Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone that is naturally produced by the body that can easily convert into estrogen and testosterone (5). DHEA can be obtained over the counter in capsule or tablet form, and the recommended dose is 25-50 mg per day. Additionally, there are herbal supplements and teas that will naturally help increase your DHEA levels, though it can also be obtained from certain vegetables like wild yams. 3. Take an Herbal Supplement Herbal supplements have been used for centuries to treat hormone imbalances. Popular herbs for increasing oestrogen include: Ashwagandha This is commonly used in traditional Indian medicines. It can increase oestrogen levels and help provide relief from menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, depression, and joint pain.Chasteberry and Red Clover Chasteberry and Red Clover contain isoflavones that mimic oestrogen and help reduce menopausal symptoms such as joint pain. Dong Quai This has been in use for centuries in China and Korea due to its functional benefits related to women's health issues. It contains phytoestrogens that act similarly to oestrogen in the human body. Pueraria Mirifica This is a herb endogenous to Thailand that contains phytoestrogens which support bone health during menopause.Black Cohosh Black Cohosh contains a compound called fukinolic acid that works like oestrogen and can thus ease menopause symptoms. You can take these herbs in supplement form as pills, herbal teas, or even mixed into food as you cook. £149 4. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle Though cultivating a healthy lifestyle is easier said than done, here are some basic ways you can start. Exercise Regularly Regular exercise for at least half an hour helps boost oestrogen levels in the body, though anaerobic exercise (short bursts of high intensity) is more effective than aerobic exercise (continuous movement). Anaerobic exercise for 12 weeks was found to be greatly effective in increasing estradiol levels in postmenopausal osteoporotic women (6). Improve Your Sleeping Schedule A poor sleep schedule can increase cortisol levels, which, in turn, disrupts the delicate balance between oestrogen and progesterone in the body. By improving your sleep schedule, you can increase your estrogen levels. Our Beauty Sleep Drops contain CBD oil, functional mushrooms, botanical ingredients, and amino acids that raise your serotonin levels, soothe nerves, and calm the mind, improving your sleep cycle. Practice Stress Management and Reduction Stress at any age can lead to the depletion of oestrogen stores in the body (7), and this effect is enhanced during menopause as the ovaries stop producing oestrogen. Practicing yoga, meditation, connecting with friends, listening to music, and taking time to unwind can help reduce stress and maintain healthy oestrogen levels. The Bottom Line The side effects associated with menopause may be reduced by boosting oestrogen levels in your body, and there are many natural ways to do so. Adaptogens such as functional mushrooms can help reduce stress and pain, while herbs such as lemon balm and chamomile may help you relax and sleep better. There's no need to keep dealing with uncomfortable symptoms as much as you do while there are simple lifestyle changes you can make at home.
A medical professional seated at a table, holding up 3 wooden blocks, featuring the term ‘CBD’, along with illustrations of hemp leaves.
Pain6 Therapeutic Effects of CBD on Muscle Pain, Inflammation, & RecoveryCannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive chemical compound found in the hemp plant. Unlike THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, CBD doesn’t have mind-altering effects. However, it does have therapeutic effects that influence the body and mind by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which regulates and controls many critical bodily functions, including appetite, digestion, learning and memory, emotional processing, homeostasis, and sleep Research suggests that CBD may be effective in treating the following conditions, as well as many others (1): CachexiaCardiovascular diseaseEpilepsyMultiple sclerosisSpasticityNauseaPain Keep reading to discover the potential benefits of using CBD products on muscle pain, inflammation, and recovery. 1. CBD Relaxes Muscles CBD provides a natural way to achieve muscle relaxation by slowing the activities that cause muscle tension. Research suggests that CBD interacts directly with the endocannabinoid system, affecting the musculoskeletal system (2) and aiding muscle metabolism and oxygen consumption. Additionally, CBD may help prevent the release of neurotransmitters that can cause muscle rigidity and spasm, causing the muscles to relax instead. » Looking to relieve sore muscles? Try our Unwind Muscle Rub 2. Prevents Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness Intense workouts cause micro damage to the muscle fibres, leading to skeletal inflammation and pain. Since the inflammation and pain take a few days after the exercise to set in, the condition is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). While DOMS will eventually dissipate, it can limit the performance and effectiveness of planned workouts, one of the signs of overtraining. CBD may alleviate this effect. A recent 2020 study by The International Journal of Physical Education, Sports and Health noted that CBD significantly influences DOMS, limiting its occurrence and allowing individuals to push through the pain of their following workouts (3). 3. Accelerates Muscle Recovery Often, muscle recovery after activity takes time, as it is an adaptive process that leads to increased muscle strength and stamina. However, CBD provides an alternative that fast-tracks the recovery process. Evidence suggests that CBD reduces muscle tension and spasm and aids in muscle relaxation (4). » Boost your recovery: Unwind Drops 4. Reduces Inflammation Another biological process mediated by the intake of CBD is inflammation. Clinical studies suggest that CBD affects endocannabinoid receptors, stimulating the production and release of potassium while blocking calcium release. Invariably, this counteracts the effects of sodium, preventing fluid buildup and swelling, thus reducing inflammation after injury. A 2017 study found that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties help treat pain and general inflammatory conditions, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, and multiple sclerosis (5). 5. Improves Exercise Consistency Post-exercise fatigue and muscle soreness is the leading cause of inconsistency in exercise performance. By addressing muscle pain, limiting inflammation, and aiding muscle recovery after exercise, CBD may lower the barriers that limit exercise consistency. Additionally, CBD reduces stress by decreasing any circulating stress hormones like cortisol while prolonging the circulation of serotonin and dopamine, otherwise known as ‘feel-good’ hormones. Consequently, exercise periods will be more enjoyable, increasing the likelihood of consistency with your exercise regimen. » Need a boost to your training routine? Take a look at our Boost Drops 6. Serves As an Effective Sleep Aid Multiple studies have shown the effectiveness of CBD as a sleeping aid for many sleep disorders, including insomnia, circadian rhythm disorders, restless leg syndrome, and abnormal REM sleep disorder (1),(2),(3),(4). Indirectly, CBD also may benefit sleep by reducing pain and calming anxiety-causing thoughts. » Struggling to sleep? Try our Beauty Sleep Drops Beat the Slump With CBD As a legal substance in most parts of the world, CBD is supported by relevant regulations and practices. Despite the need for more research into its effects, it appears to be a powerful therapeutic remedy for many conditions, including muscle pain, recovery, soreness, inflammation, and dealing with exercise consistency.
Elderly woman sitting on her couch leaning over while rubbing her legs and grimacing due to menopause muscle pain.
PainMenopause Muscle Pain: Causes & 4 Tips for ReliefMenopause triggers many symptoms in women, such as muscle and joint pain, as the balance between hormones changes. This added discomfort, along with the other annoying symptoms of menopause, can make daily life more difficult. » Need help finding your personalised wellness plan? Let our quiz help you out Relationship Between Menopause and Muscle & Joint Pain There are oestrogen receptors all over the body, and a decrease in oestrogen affects cartilage due to inhibited collagen production (1). This can lead to pain in the spine between intervertebral discs, facet joints and sacroiliac joints, as well as small joints in the fingers and ankles primarily via connective tissue (ligaments). Similarly, the same hormonal decreases and physiological changes during menopause can lead to chronic muscle pain, breast tenderness, excessive bruising, and muscle cramps (2). » Suffering from lower back pain? See our top physio exercises Symptoms of Menopause Muscle Pain Menopause-related muscle pain often feels different than regular muscle pain: Whole-body aches that are worse at nightHigher inflammation that can trigger and increase bodily painFlu-like aches and painsIncreased stiffness 4 Tips for Menopause Muscle Pain Relief 1. Dietary Changes Since inflammation may rise as a result of oestrogen decreasing, an anti-inflammatory diet can help to combat these changes. Soda and sweetened beverages, red meat, and processed carbohydrates all can increase inflammation, while foods that may decrease inflammation include: Leafy green vegetablesFruitsTomatoesOlive oilNutsFatty fish Aside from this, ensuring you meet the recommendations of vitamins and minerals, such as those listed below, can help relieve symptoms of muscle and joint pain: Magnesium Magnesium is essential for bone health and muscle and nerve function, which can help your body mitigate these types of pain, and is found in whole grains and dark, leafy vegetables.Vitamin B6 During menopause, vitamin B6 can help reduce inflammation throughout the body, and can be found in fish like salmon and tuna, chickpeas, and poultry.Vitamin K Like magnesium, vitamin K is essential for bone health, and you can find it in green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, as well as broccoli and Brussels sprouts.Calcium Calcium is essential for strong bones and functioning muscles and can be found in milk, yoghurt, cheese, and tofu.Vitamin C Ascorbic acid, otherwise known as vitamin C, is well-known to promote bone and cartilage health, while its antioxidant effects are great for mitigating the progression of age-related conditions, like menopause. Abdominal weight gain is a common symptom of menopause, and reducing this weight can help alleviate menopause-related muscle and joint pain. This is often more difficult during menopause, so combining dietary changes and exercise yields the best chance of success. 2. Menopause-Friendly Exercises Daily exercise can help decrease chronic pain. There are many menopause-friendly exercises that may help to decrease pain, such as yoga and other low-impact exercises that mobilise the body. Stretching in the morning can help to get the body moving and reduce morning pain while stretching in the evening can help you sleep better. Pilates and strength training (with supervision) can also help build muscle, which can reduce muscle and joint pain. » Menopause causing joint pain? See our top menopause-friendly exercises for sacroiliac joint pain 3. Increasing Oestrogen Boosting oestrogen levels can help mitigate some of the symptoms, though there is considerable controversy about the risks of direct hormone replacement therapy and many people prefer natural methods (3). At-home remedies include eating phytoestrogens found in soybeans and other legumes, regulating your diet, taking various supplements, and ensuring you meet all recommended minerals and vitamins. » Learn more: our oestrogen-boosting lifestyle tips 4. Muscle-Specific Remedies Heat pads, warm baths, and cold packs can help relieve muscle and joint pain related to menopause. Additionally, regular massages can also bring some relief, especially when combined with a warming massage oil, an oil containing anti-inflammatory properties, or one containing a natural pain reliever. Find Relief From Menopause Muscle Pain Self-help is a good place to start to decrease menopause-related muscle and joint pain along with over-the-counter pain remedies, vitamins and minerals, and good lifestyle habits constituting a healthy diet and exercise. If your pain is severe and you do not respond to at-home remedies, then you should consult your doctor. Adding hormone replacement therapy may help relieve symptoms or at least reduce them to manageable levels. For many people, a combination of approaches is what produces the greatest relief.
Woman in white clothing sitting on her couch rubbing her lower back due to pain
PainFemale-Specific Causes of Lower Back Pain in Women (+Natural Tips for Relief)Back pain can plague everyone at some point in their lives and for many possible reasons, some of which are specific only to women. These causes are primarily related to PMS, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. » Figure out your personalised wellness routine with Cannabotech Lower Back Pain and Pregnancy One of the most common pregnancy complaints is persistent lower back pain (1). During pregnancy, there is an increase in the hormone relaxin which relaxes muscles around the pelvis and loosens ligaments and joints. This, combined with weight gain, can shift your centre of gravity and unbalance you, leading to back pain. How to Relieve Pregnancy-Related Back Pain One of the best ways to relieve pregnancy-related back pain is to make sure you have adequate support for your bump. A good support strap worn during the day and a pregnancy pillow for sleep can keep you stable during the day and night. Combine this with heating pads for the lower back—if you find heat uncomfortable, consider a cold pack instead as this may help reduce inflammation—and you should find some relief from your lower back pain. » Back pain worse in the morning? Discover the common reasons for lower back pain when waking Lower Back Pain and Menstruation One of the more common symptoms at various points in a woman's cycle is lower back pain. Prostaglandins, which are made in the lining of the uterus and increase during menstruation, affect bodily functions like inflammation and pain and can cause the uterus to contract and cramp. Similarly, this can affect the surrounding back muscles, leading to pain that can start just before menstruation (PMS) and continue throughout your period. There are also a variety of other conditions that cause lower back pain during the menstrual cycle, including endometriosis (when uterine tissue is found outside the uterus), and fibroids (benign growths in the uterus). How to Relieve PMS-Related Back Pain Studies have shown that stretching programs can work well to relieve PMS-related back pain (2). For specific exercises, take a look at our collection of physio exercises for lower back pain. Aside from exercises, heat and cold therapy can also bring some relief. For severe pain, try anti-inflammatory medications, though be sure to consult a doctor before combining this with any other medications. Hormonal Issues That Can Cause Back Pain Menopause and Back Pain Hormonal changes can contribute to back pain during and after menopause. Oestrogen is intimately involved in collagen production so decreased levels can affect collagen throughout the body, including intervertebral discs (3). Weight gain around the stomach that frequently occurs in menopause has also been linked to increased back pain (4). How to Relieve Menopause Back Pain Many women find that menopausal back pain decreases if they can boost oestrogen, both naturally or with artificial hormone replacement therapy. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, regular exercise often helps with back pain. Most professionals recommend that the exercise is low impact and includes stretching. See our menopause-friendly exercises for sacroiliac joint pain to learn more. There are a wide variety of natural remedies for menopause pain that include eating anti-inflammatory food, yoga, and adding magnesium to your diet. It is always best to try a combination of methods for the best possible outcome, especially if the pain is chronic. » Learn more: Natural remedies for menopause joint pain Reduce Back Pain From Home Women experience lower back pain for a number of very specific reasons related to oestrogen balance, prostaglandins, and relaxin depending upon where they are in their life cycle. The best remedies for this type of back pain include ensuring hormones are balanced when possible, regular exercise (including specific stretching and targeted exercises), massage, heat and cold, and decreasing inflammation. De-stressing is also one of the best ways to help relieve back pain. If your back pain doesn't subside after you've implemented the various methods outlined in this article, or if it continues after pregnancy and your menstrual cycle, then it might be an indicator of something more serious. Chat with your doctor to ensure that you're getting the best treatment possible, and be sure to check out our wellness quiz to help you build your healthy life. » Need help with stress relief? See our top tips for adult women
Woman sitting on a yoga mat holding her strained shoulder during injury recovery
PainRecovering From Muscle Strains: 5 Crucial Tips for a Speedy ReturnMuscle strains occur as a result of the overstretching or tearing of muscle fibres and are most common in the neck, shoulder, lower back, and legs. While they can be mild, untreated muscle strains can lead to complications and even permanent damage. Understanding your muscle strain and applying the correct treatment techniques from the beginning is a necessity. » Need help figuring out your wellness plan? Let our quiz help 1. Understand the Causes and Symptoms of Muscle Strains Types Muscle strains may be classified into three types depending on the severity of the injury: Grade 1: Mild strain caused by minor stretching or tearing of muscle fibres—causes mild pain and swellingGrade 2: Moderate strain caused by a greater degree of stretching or tearing of the muscle, leading to moderate pain, swelling, and stiffnessGrade 3: Complete muscle rupture causing severe pain, swelling, and weakness Symptoms While the symptoms of muscle strain may vary depending on the grade of injury, you should expect to notice the following: Mild to severe pain in the affected muscle and surrounding areaInflammation, characterized by swelling, redness, and warmth in the affected areaLimited range of motionMuscle weaknessMuscle spasms Causes Repetitive stressPoor muscle conditioningSudden movementsPoor body mechanics during activitiesMuscle fatigueTrauma Muscle imbalanceLoss of flexibility due to ageingDehydrationCold weather 2. Use RICE RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) is a simple, yet effective, approach to treating pain, addressing inflammation, and promoting healing. Rest Resting involves keeping the area from further activity, thus preventing further damage and allowing the muscle to recover and heal. Sleep is an essential part of the resting and recovery process. With a mild strain, a few days of rest may be enough to relieve pain. More severe strains (grades 2 and 3) may require up to weeks of rest. Thus, the general idea is to rest the muscle until the pain, tenderness to touch, and swelling subsides. » Unlock the power of a good night's rest with our tips Ice Cold sensations can block pain perception and reduce inflammation (1). Ice constricts the blood vessels, limiting blood flow and reducing swelling, while also causing numbness and reduced nerve activity in the area. You can apply ice or a cold compress to the affected area for 20 minutes at once (avoid applying ice directly on the skin as it can cause tissue damage), multiple times daily. Compression Swelling and inflammation can increase an individual's perception of pain, and there is evidence that compression can reduce the amount of swelling and, thus, the resulting pain (2). For maximum effect, wrap the entire strained muscle firmly, preferably with an elastic strap or muscle tape, while ensuring that it is not too tight. Elevation Raising the affected area above the heart level encourages circulation, which can also reduce swelling. Elevate the injured muscle as often as possible. 3. Stretch and Strengthen the Injured Muscle Without activity, muscle weakness will set in. So, it is essential that while the strain heals, you do not leave your muscle inactive for too long. Apart from muscle weakness, staying inactive increases the healing period. Once you experience pain relief, you should begin gentle stretching and strengthening exercises to help recondition your muscle, improve its flexibility, and promote healing. » Suffering from lower back pain? See our physical therapist-approved exercises How Long Does a Strained Muscle Take to Heal? The duration of injury depends on the type of strain, affected muscle, and how early you seek treatment. If caught soon enough, a mildly strained muscle should recover within a few days, while severe muscle strain may take several weeks to months. You should bear this in mind while stretching and strengthening the muscle so that further injury doesn’t occur 4. Massage the Injured Muscle A strained muscle will benefit from massage. Massage will relax the muscle, relieve pain, improve flexibility, and promote healing by stimulating blood flow to the affected area. The massage technique will depend on your expertise. However, the most common types are Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and trigger point therapy. 5. Avoid Inflammatory Foods Food that speeds up inflammation, like processed food, sugar, and trans fats can also delay healing after muscle strain. To aid recovery, aim for an anti-inflammatory diet that contains fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Protein and healthy fats are also helpful during recovery. Can You Avoid Pain During Your Recovery? A muscle strain may cause pain, but you do not have to endure it. By applying RICE, massage, gentle stretches, and a dietary change, you can ensure pain relief and a quick return to activity. However, if these home remedies do not bring improvement, you should seek the medical expertise of a doctor or physiotherapist.
Man in the middle of running hunched over and grasping his ankle due to musculoskeletal pain
PainMusculoskeletal Pain Explained: Common Types and Unknown CausesMusculoskeletal pain is the all-encompassing term for any pain or discomfort from injury to the muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissues. Musculoskeletal pain can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term), mild or severe, and its symptoms depend on the exact structure affected. It is often associated with a limited range of motion, swelling, and weakness. » Need help finding your personal wellness routine? Take a look at our quiz Muscle Pain Muscle pain, also known as myalgia, is a pain that is often localized to a specific muscle or group of muscles and is most common in the neck, lower back, and shoulders. Types of Muscle Pain Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) DOMS occurs as soreness after intense physical activity, typically within 24-72 hours after the activity, and may last several days.Fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia is a chronic muscular condition associated with generalised muscle pain that has lasted more than three months, at least 11 tender points, and no underlying medical condition (1).Muscle spasms These are sudden, involuntary, and forceful muscular contractions. They are quite common, especially in the upper and lower extremities, and can last from a few seconds to several minutes.Muscle strains A strain occurs when a muscle stretches beyond its limit and tears, leading to intense pain, swelling, and a limited range of motion. Minor strains will usually heal on their own but should be monitored closely in case the pain or condition worsens.Myofascial pain syndrome Like fibromyalgia, myofascial syndrome is a chronic pain condition caused by the presence of trigger points or knots in the muscles. The condition can lead to referred pain in other areas of the body. Causes of Muscle Pain Overexertion (injury)Infections and diseasesPoor nutrition, such as deficiencies in protein and potassiumDehydrationSleep deficiencies » Relieve sore muscles with a soothing massage and our Unwind Muscle Rub Bone Pain Bone pain is a dull, aching pain that occurs in the bone or joints and is present with or without movement. It commonly results from injury but may also be caused by other conditions. Types of Bone Pain Acute bone pain Acute bone pain is sudden and severe pain caused by a traumatic injury to the bone, such as a fracture or dislocation, and is most common in the wrist, ankle, shoulder, and hip.Chronic bone pain This is characterized by long-lasting pain that persists and is associated with conditions like osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and bone metastasis. Causes of Bone Pain An injury or fractureArthritisAgeing and osteoporosisCancersInfections and diseases like osteomyelitis or Paget’s diseaseNutritional deficiencies (vitamin D, calcium, or other bone-forming nutrients) » See our top foods and activities to boost bone strength Tendon Pain Tendon pain occurs as a result of injury to the tough, fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones. It is characterized by a sharp, burning sensation along the affected tendon that is worsened by activity and may also present with other symptoms like stiffness and reduced range of motion. Types of Tendon Pain Tendonitis Inflammation causes pain, stiffness, and burning along the infected area and can persist for several months.Tendinopathy Chronic pain, swelling, and muscle weakness caused by degeneration of a tendon.Tendonosis A chronic pain condition that involves breaking down collagen in a tendon due to repeated microtrauma.Tenosynovitis Inflammation of the tendon sheath that leads to pain, swelling, and contractures (permanent stiffening). Causes of Tendon Pain OveruseTrauma Age-related degenerationMedical conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout Ligament Pain Ligament pain occurs when the strong, elastic tissues that connect bones and provide stability to joints become injured. It is usually sharp and stabbing pain that occurs around the affected ligament and is worsened by activity. Types of Ligament Pain Sprain Occurs when the ligament is stretched or torn due to trauma or overuse.Strain An indirect injury to the ligament, when the tendon and muscle that attaches to it are injured.Ligamentous laxity A condition in which loose and unstable ligaments cause pain and joint instability.Ligamentous injury with joint instability A severe ligament injury that causes joint instability and may warrant surgery. Causes of Ligament Pain Direct injury or trauma to the ligamentRepetitive stress or overuseDegenerationInflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitisInfection such as septic arthritis or Lyme disease A Note of Caution Musculoskeletal pain is very common and, in most cases, can be alleviated at home using a variety of natural remedies and lifestyle changes. However, due to the sheer number of conditions that can fall under this bracket, it is essential to consult your doctor if the pain persists or worsens in order to get the best possible treatment plan.
Woman in the middle of running rubbing her shoulder due to muscle or bone pain
PainMuscle or Bone? The Truth About Your PainBone and muscle pain present similarly, making it difficult to differentiate the source and decide on the best treatment. However, there are many key differences that can help you identify your pain, choose adequate remedies, and even know when to consult a doctor. » Lower back pain when running? Discover our tips for getting back in the race Muscle Pain Muscle pain is a sharp pain localized to a muscle or cluster of muscles within the body, and may also be aching and tender in the affected area. The most commonly affected areas include the neck, lower back, and shoulders. » Need help with your custom wellness plan? Take our easy quiz What Does Muscle Pain Feel Like? For muscle pain, the symptoms depend on the cause of the pain and the severity of the injury (if any). Generally, you may notice the following symptoms: Aching and soreness in the muscle which is worse with movement but better with restTenderness to touchReduced range of motion which leads to muscle weaknessMuscle spasmsClassic inflammation signs (swelling, warmth, and redness) around the affected area Causes of Muscles Pain Overuse Repetitive use of a muscle can lead to overexertion and pain.Injury Trauma to the muscle can cause muscle tears and lead to pain.Tension and stress Emotional and psychological stress increases muscle tension and causes muscle pain.Infections and diseases Infections such as influenza, Lyme disease, and viral infections) and autoimmune disorders (e.g. lupus, polymyalgia rheumatica, and rheumatoid arthritis.Fibromyalgia This is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain and tenderness in the muscles and soft tissues.Side effects of certain medicationsDeficiencies Mostly dependent on vitamin D, magnesium, and potassium.DehydrationMetabolic disorders This includes hypothyroidism and hypokalemia.Neurological conditions This includes multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. How to Treat Muscle Pain at Home Sometimes, muscle pain can be severe enough that you can't even get out of the house. The good thing is that you can easily treat mild to moderate muscle pain at home with the following tips: RestIce and Heat therapyGentle stretchesMassage (with or without topical analgesic)Staying hydrated When Should You Be Worried About Muscle Pain? Most of the time, muscle pain will resolve with home remedies and should not be a cause of concern. However, if it becomes severe and persistent, or is accompanied by fever, swelling, and a history of infection (autoimmune disorder or metabolic condition), you should seek immediate medical attention. » See our best menopause-friendly exercises Bone Pain Bone pain is a dull, aching pain that may occur in any bone in the body. The pain is often deep-seated and constant and may worsen with movement. What Does Bone Pain Feel Like? Though the pain is constant, there are several accompanying symptoms. These are; Dull, aching sensationDeep-seated painTendernessSwellingWarmthLimited range of motionFeverWeight loss (where cancer is the underlying cause) Causes of Bone Pain Bone infections Osteomyelitis is the most common bone infection that causes pain.CancerDegenerative arthritisFracture due to traumaMetabolic bone disorders This includes osteomalacia, rickets, and Paget's disease.Medications Bisphosphonates anticonvulsants and chemotherapy drugs can cause or exacerbate bone pain.Medical conditions This includes fibromyalgia, sickle cell anaemia, and lupus.OsteoporosisRepetitive stressVitamin deficiencies Mostly dependent on vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium. How to Treat Bone Pain at Home As severe as bone pain can get, mild to moderate symptoms can still be treated at home. The treatment approach will depend on the cause, but will generally follow these procedures: Rest the affected areaIce and heat therapy Ice works best within the first 24-72 hours after acute pain onset. However, heat is preferable after the 72-hour mark except where there is suspicion of cancer.Use of over-the-counter pain relieversGentle stretching and exercises to improve ROMA balanced and anti-inflammatory diet that supports healthy bones and relieves bone painRelaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises and meditation to relieve stress and pain When Should You Be Worried About Bone Pain? Bone pain may be a pointer to a severe underlying condition. While home treatment may be effective for mild bone pain, you should see a doctor if the pain is persistent, unresponsive to home remedies, and accompanied by fever or inflammation in the affected area. You should also see a doctor if the pain wakes you up at night, comes with a numbing sensation, loss of strength, and a history of recent trauma to the bone. » Our top foods and activities for boosting bone strength Don't Misdiagnose Yourself Whether it is muscle or bone pain, you can beat the discomfort by incorporating home remedies into pain management. However, if there is no improvement, seek medical attention promptly as you may have misdiagnosed yourself and are currently pursuing the wrong remedies. Only a registered medical practitioner can assist you properly.
Woman sitting on her couch rubbing her lower back and grimacing due to sciatica nerve pain
PainSurprising Everyday Habits That Are Causing You Sciatica (+ At-Home Tips for Relief)The largest and longest nerve in the human body, the sciatic nerve originates in your lower spine and then branches out into your legs and feet, controlling your lower leg muscles. It also provides sensation to the back of your thigh, lower leg, and sole of the foot. Certain medical conditions, such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, can cause sciatic nerve pain, though it can also be brought on by some seemingly normal everyday habits. Understanding sciatica and the unobvious causal factors is essential to reducing pain from the comfort of your own home. » Take our personalised wellness quiz to figure out your optimal lifestyle The 4 Types of Sciatica and Their Symptoms Acute This type of sciatica is usually caused by a herniated disc or another injury to the spine. Typically, the affected area has a sudden onset of intense and sharp sciatic pain that may be accompanied by numbness or weakness in the affected leg or foot. Acute sciatica may last for 1-2 weeks. Chronic If your condition persists for over three months, then it is termed chronic sciatica, and is usually caused by degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis. Although the pain may be less intense than acute sciatica, the constant pain can be debilitating. Alternating Medical conditions such as spinal stenosis or a herniated disc can trigger sciatica pain that alternates between both legs to varying degrees. Bilateral A type of sciatica where both legs are affected, bilateral sciatica can be caused by spinal stenosis or a condition that affects the entire spine, such as ankylosing spondylitis. » See the top medicinal mushrooms for reducing chronic joint pain Lifestyle Habits That Cause Sciatica Poor Diet Eating highly processed food, saturated fats, sugar, etc., increases inflammation in the body, and chronic inflammation can exacerbate pain and accelerate the progression of diseases (1). Additionally, a poor diet leads to weight gain, which puts pressure on the sciatic nerve and can cause sciatica symptoms. Sedentary Behavior When you sit or stand for too long, this can cause stiffness and compression of your spinal discs, which can increase pressure on the sciatic nerve and eventually lead to sciatica.Smoking Smoking causes inflammation in your body and may also decrease blood flow to your spinal area. This can trigger or worsen sciatica symptoms. What Can You Do About It? Behavioural changes in your lifestyle can help reduce inflammation, decrease pressure on the spine, and promote spinal health. Though it may be difficult at first, consistency really is the key to building up habits over time. Try to improve your diet by adding more whole foods and avoiding processed ones, as well as quitting poor habits like smoking and excessive drinking. This, along with reducing the time you spend sedentary and increasing your exercise, will not only help you reduce sciatica symptoms, but also promote your overall health and well-being. » Got lower back pain? Overcome it with our top physio exercises Exercise Habits That Cause Sciatica Even fit and active people may end up with sciatica due to faulty exercise habits, such as the following: Poor posture when exercisingOvertrainingNot focusing on your core What Can You Do About It? You can do low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, or cycling. Such activities promote healing by improving circulation and reducing inflammation. Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises may help release tight muscles contributing to sciatic nerve pain. Avoid overtraining or pushing yourself too far, as even lifting too many heavy things throughout your day can lead to sciatica. If this is unavoidable, then always ensure that you have the correct posture, such as keeping your back straight and lifting with your legs. » Is your age making exercise difficult? See our top menopause-friendly exercises for joint pain Sleep Habits That Cause Sciatica Waking up with aches and pains shouldn't be ignored as a common sign of ageing as poor sleeping posture can trigger or worsen sciatic nerve pain. What Can You Do About It? Use a firm mattress as this supports your spine and reduces pressure on your lower back. To relieve pressure on your lower back and hips, try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees. Placing a pillow or rolled-up towel under your knees not only relieves pressures on the lower back and hips, but also increases circulation to your legs. » Get better sleep with our deep sleep secrets Other Factors That Could Be Causing Sciatica Sciatica can occur spontaneously due to trauma or physical stress injury, such as during car accidents, sports injuries, or even falls. Other than lifestyle habits, sciatica may also develop over time due to seemingly unrelated factors like menstruation or endometriosis. What Can You Do About It? Cold and heat therapy Try applying hot or cold packs on affected areas to reduce inflammation and ease the pain. Cold therapy is useful for treating swellings, while heat therapy can increase blood flow and promote healing.Over-the-counter pain relievers Medications such as ibuprofen can help relieve mild to moderate nerve pain.Topical creams and ointments Many varieties of topical creams and ointments can double as massage oils to help relieve nerve pain. Sciatica Pain Can Get Better Sciatica is often seen as an incurable and debilitating condition, but there are many things you can do at home to find some relief from the pain, such as understanding and identifying the common daily habits you have that are unknowingly causing or exacerbating your sciatic nerve pain and then taking the necessary steps to reducing or even eliminating these habits.