4 mom-tested ways to relieve back and shoulder pain

4 mom tested ways to relieve back and shoulder painShilpi Agarwal

Being a mother is one of the most amazing and rewarding jobs, but as many women can attest, it can also be an extremely painful one. Carrying toddlers, nursing newborns, and surviving on limited sleep often leave you with back and shoulder pain, sore muscles, and tension headaches. Even if your children are grown, you may still have some of these common aches and pains.

If you find yourself popping pain pills to help get you through your back, neck, or shoulder pain, maybe it’s time to ditch the meds and go pill-free. Here are my top four recommendations for alternative pain relief:

  1. Acupuncture

One of the most common complaints mothers have is persistent back pain. Several studies analyzed by researchers at the University of Maryland demonstrate the positive effects of acupuncture on lower back and neck pain. Research published in The Cochrane Library suggests that acupuncture can reduce the pain of tension headaches. Acupuncture is an extremely individualized pain solution and results can vary greatly, but many mothers report reduction in pain after the first session. I personally used acupuncture for relief from sciatica.

  1. Capsaicin

This is a compound found in hot peppers that is used in topical ointments and patches to relieve muscle and joint pain. The Mayo Clinic suggests capsaicin may also decrease chronic pain associated with arthritis. It works by interfering with compounds that are involved in neurological pain signals. Applying capsaicin as a topical ointment improves soreness and dulls the sensation of pain. Many women report initially feeling tingling, heat, or burning on the skin followed by a reduction in pain. Never use capsaicin on open skin, and always wash your hands thoroughly after use.

  1. Massage Therapy

Massage TherapyAll moms love massages! Research evidence suggests that massage therapy not only relieves muscle tension and pain but also increases oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is a hormone that promotes feelings of calmness and a general sense of relaxation. Massage therapy relieves muscle tension by increasing blood flow and decreasing inflammation. It allows muscles to relax and reduces feelings of tiredness and pain.

Most busy moms often don’t have time to see a massage therapist, so a handheld massager for use at home can be a great alternative. A deep-tissue massager helps reduce pain by penetrating below the surface to reach deep-rooted tension that can build up in back, shoulder, and leg muscles. It is powerful enough to treat a large group of muscles and provides immediate pain relief and relaxation. It also has interchangeable heads to customize the massage to your specific concerns. I personally love using a handheld massager for a few minutes several times a week to ease the muscle pain generated from feeding and holding a newborn.

  1. TurmericTurmeric

This yellow powder is derived from a plant in the ginger family. Turmeric is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory found to reduce knee pain, burns, and even postoperative pain. One Canadian study found it as effective as ibuprofen for knee pain. Adding 2 to 3 teaspoons to a smoothie is an easy way to get it in your diet.

Courtesy www.everydayhealth.com

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