Pain, though disruptive, is a warning signal that the body needs attention. Sometimes the answer is simple, such as rest for muscle overuse. Yet, if generalized pain has you down, it is possible to get rid of body aches with home therapy and/or medical support, depending on its cause. Read on for common ways to treat body aches to help get you back on track.
Things You'll Need
- As indicated:
- Heat therapy
- Epsom salts
- Medication (as recommended)
- Alternative treatments
Identify the cause or pattern of your body aches to better determine which remedies will work best. When accompanied by a bout of the flu or a cold, it's best to work on general recovery as well as the pain, which includes proper rest, nutrition and supportive medication if necessary. If body aches have become more chronic, a medical consult may be necessary and a different pain relief approach employed.
Get rid of body aches by gentle to moderate exercise even when you feel this is the last thing you wish to do. As long as it doesn't contradict with medical advice and your health, exercise works in part by stimulating circulation, muscle relaxation and endorphin production. Endorphins are a neuro-hormone known to reduce pain and the perception of pain.
Use moist heat to get rid of body aches due to illness or overuse. Hot baths, saunas, jacuzzi baths and the like promote relief. For best results keep your body exposed to the heat source for 10 to 20 minutes, but avoid overheating. The addition of Epsom salts in a hot bath often provides superior results.
Rest muscles as needed but avoid long periods of immobility unless there is injury, or the activity increases the pain. When muscles are in disuse they become prone to soreness, tender points and injury. Another risk is muscle atrophy, which is more difficult to overcome. A graduated exercise program, such as stretching and walking, helps most people get rid of body aches, but defer to a doctor if you have long-term problems.
Consider the quality of your sleep if common pain remedies do little to get rid of body aches or the pain becomes chronic. Lack of restful sleep is commonly caused by a poor mattress, illness, some medications, brain or sleep abnormality, alcohol, caffeine and stress. If the problem is serious or long-standing a physician may recommend some tests to better isolate the cause. Note that some individuals may not recognize a sleep abnormality when one exists but do not feel rested upon awakening.
Talk to a pharmacist or physician prior to taking pain medication to get rid of body aches, as their effectiveness varies. Common medications work differently at relieving pain and many are better suited at joint pain than muscle pain. For instance, acetaminophen (Brand name: Tylenol) is a common ingredient in cold medications but does not reduce inflammation as does ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. Aspirin maintains some anti-inflammatory properties.