I have been getting pain in my lower legs lately. What could be causing this sudden pain?
Tightness, heaviness and muscle pain (muslce aches, cramps, pains and spasms) can be very debilitating and annoying complaints which reduce the range of movement as well as increasing the likelihood for headaches, inflammation and spinal conditions. Muscle tension is caused by the muscles bunching after contracting and not letting go or relaxing. The muscle fibres are then tense, rigid and stiff causing pain. Long term muscle tension may contribute to many other chronic conditions in the future such as migraines, postural imbalances, sciatica, repetitive strain injuries, backache and cramps.
Diet changes to help reduce aching legs
- Increase Magnesium rich foods in your diet such as almonds, brewers yeast, cashews, cocoa, mineral water, molasses, parsnips, soyabeans, wholegrain cereals and green leafy vegetables
- Ensure adequate hydration as dehydration is a contributor to pain and inflammation, acidity, lactic acid build up and pain in the body
Lifestyle factors to reduce aching legs
- Acupuncture and Acupressure are ideal ways to invigorate the blood, reduce inflammation and encourage relaxation of the muscles
- If you have recently started an exercise program or stepped up your current work out routine you may be affected with shin splints
- Stretching, yoga and swimming may help to relax the muscles and let go of tension. These activities also help to improve blood flow
- Epsom salts baths contain Magnesium and are a great way to warm the muscles and ease tension
- Regular massages may help to reduce any tension in the muscles
- If you are taking a pharmaceutical medication (Statin) for lowering of cholesterol, often leg cramps are an associated side effect of this medication. Muscle aches primarily in the legs while taking anti-cholesterol medication occur due to a deficiency of CoQ10. Many Medical Doctors are now recommending pateints taking Statin medication to also take a CoQ10 supplement concurrently to reduce this side effect. Speak to your Healthcare practitioner if this is a concern for you and always take any herbal supplements at least 2 hours away from pharmaceutical medications
Natural remedies to help reduce muscle aches
- Magnesium is indicated for any cramps, pain, spasms or tensions in the muscles. Magnesium plays a role in the relaxation and contraction of muscles. It also improves nervous conduction which influences muscle contraction and relaxation further. Supplementation with Magnesium Phosphate or Magnesium Chelate may be helpful to reduce nerve and muscle tension. A deficiency of this important mineral is often the immediate cause of sudden leg cramps or pain. Taking a Calcium supplement also increases the need for Magnesium as they are synergistic nutrients
- The following are a list of herbs which may be of benefit in reducing muscle aches and improve blood circulation: Chamomile, Passionflower, Daimiana, Kava, Vervain, Devils Claw, Cramp Bark, Ginger, Hops, Lavender, Willowbark and Skullcap
- Topical ointments such as Tiger Balm, Wintergreen, Cajuput, Eucalyptus, Black Pepper, Rosemary, Marjoram and Cayenne are rubefacients which help to bring blood flow to an area and provide temporary analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.
- Electrolytes (Magnesium, Calcium and Potassium) are important minerals to nourish and fortify the nerves and muscles and encourage the muscles to relax
- Fish oil contains Ecosapentanoic acid (EPA) which is a natural and potent anti-inflammatory for the muscular system