Home remedies for muscle strain and pain

Home Remedies For Muscle Strain & Pain

Home remedies for muscle strain and pain

Sore muscles or muscle strain. I think we have all experienced that at some point in time, if not today, right now!

For mild to moderate muscle pain, home remedies are worth trying.

Mild muscle strain will cause some pain and stiffness, but should go away in a few days.

Moderate muscle strain is when your muscle actually gets small tears. It will cause more pain and some swelling. This may last a few weeks.

Severe muscle strain: If you have SEVERE, intense muscle pain, swelling and bruising around the muscle: This could mean that you have a ruptured muscle and you should seek professional help.


Mayo Clinic ‘R.I.C.E.’ for muscle strain

Let’s review what the Mayo Clinic says about home treatment for muscle strain and sprains. The Mayo Clinic likes to call the home treatment of muscle strains, ‘R.I.C.E’. 


Rest the area to promote healing in your muscle. Make sure that you also stay hydrated. Good hydration helps your body in so many ways and will help your muscles to heal. Remember that the earlier you start treatment the sooner your recovery will happen.


Ice the area with an ice pack at first for about 20 minutes. Then remove the ice pack. After about an hour or so, apply the ice pack again for another 20 minutes.


Compress the area if you have swelling with an ACE bandage until the swelling stops. Don’t wrap too tight as this may cause more swelling or cut off circulation to the area.


Elevate your injured area, especially when you sleep at night. Gravity will help reduce your swelling if you have any.

Just remember R.I.C.E.Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate.


Muscle Pain Relief Tips

Here are some other pain relieving tips you can try.


Bath with Epsom Salt

When dealing with muscle soreness, put some Epsom Salt and regular white vinegar in your bath water. It will help replace some of your lost magnesium and the vinegar will help draw the lactic acid out of your sore muscles.

Most popular: Epsom Salt


Ice Pack, then Heat

If swelling exists, an ice pack may reduce the muscle pain and provide muscle relief. After swelling lessens, you may apply heat. Heat and ice should not be applied directly. Keep a towel covered with ice or heat and apply gently on the skin.


Stretching & Exercise

Simple stretching exercises help considerably. Going for walks or biking also generates good stuff in the system that will mentally and physically be relaxing.


Apple Cider Vinegar

Applying a compress of apple cider vinegar for about 20 minutes may help alleviate your muscle soreness.


Banana or Sweet Potato

Eating some banana or a sweet potato may also help. Muscles cramp and get sore when your body is low in potassium.

Lets hear some of your own home remedies for muscle strain..
I’ll pick some and add it to the list.


  1. Ken,
    Great subject for thought and planning as we appear to be heading into very troubled times ahead when medical services may be limited .
    Wife and I do use ice packs on occasion for sore muscles . We also made some rice filled bags that we heat in the microwave for a minute or two and apply to the affected area .The rice bags provide a moist feeling heat ,very relaxing. Worst case scenario we can cook the rice. We do see a chiropractor on occasion and he gives us good home remedy advicef to use . One thing that seems to really help out is a relaxing back massage after a hard day’s work. Stretch and limber up exercises before gardening,wood splitting or yard work will get the muscles ready for some work as well..
    We are both past 75 and have become very aware of avoiding super strenuous work. We get tired so we rest, we drink water and stay hydrated. We have finally learned to work slow and steady and rest often.

  2. I agree with Bluesman, slow and steady. The last snow storm left us with 13″ of the white stuff to shovel. It took me 40 minutes to shovel, years ago I would have had it done in 20 minutes. It is up to me to shovel as DH can barely walk. I know that I have to be careful, take frequent breaks, don’t try to lift or move more than I can handle. My back wasn’t even sore that night.

  3. How a remedy is applied also depends on where the injury has occurred.I have a muscle injury that keeps getting reinjured…just below my shoulder blade. Have been fighting this thing for 2 months. The limitations are real for an injury of shoulder girdle… I am guessing SMG would attest to that.!. Everything done with that arm is affected. Washing dishes, preparing food, doing laundry, caring for animals. It takes it 3-5 days of no strain to get to a place of any activity without pain. The only thing it responds to is light massage/pressure to stop spasms, rest and heat.. Remove heat and pressure and pain returns. UUUGGH!. I already use magnesium and potassium. Most people would take an anti inflammatory.and for most people it would help, to prevent a reinjury..via reducing edema in the muscles. Muscle rubs such as icy hot,or arnica cream help some muscle groups if one can tolerate them on skin. Arnica cream is well tolerated by most, and available at most big box stores in muscle rub section… none of the creams are supposed to be used with heat. So use with extreme caution with heat.

  4. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
    Dang, I’m way too close to that 3 score and 10 deal. I still do physically hard work every day, more than most Americans of any age, but slow and steady is definitely the rule, with a lot of pauses to look around at this fine old world. No one ever promised us a life free from pain. One of my soothing rituals is a long hot bath sipping on a margarita. A great thing is the nanny state finally allowing 4% Lidocaine in pain relief creams, they are highly effective. I’d like to try Abishag, but that is only for Kings…

    1. Judge Holden;
      Your comment really brought a HUGE smile over my face…. Thank You

  5. The DW was given some cream that has CBD oil in, along with a bit of THC. Legal in this state. DW used it on the MIL, with some great success. Of course, we could never take this cream to another state when we travel, due to the THC in it. As for me, I am a firm believer in big ice packs. Also in a daily regimen of Turmeric and black pepper.

    1. Minerjim:
      My mom, 97 years old, has also turned into a druggie, Gummy Bears are doing fantastic wonders for her.
      She also gets a cream from somewhere in Alaska that works FANTASTIC.
      If you want I’ll get the website for you, honestly no kidding at all, tis a GREAT cream for pain.

      1. NRP,
        Thanks. This cream was called “Northern Goddess”. DW and I had to go into a ‘Dispensary’ to get more. (that was an interesting experience). Would be interested in the name of the stuff your Mom uses. I have Vet friends that use ‘edibles’ for some of their pain and PTSD issues, in place of using the bottles of opioids the VA tries to give them. I do believe there are legitimate uses for Cannabis products in controlling pain and PTSD. Personally, anything that helps these folks with pain, I am for. Just have to watch the legality of these in your area. Here in the Mile Hi state, all this stuff is controlled, but legal, at least on a state level.

      2. Mrs. USMCBG & Minerjim:
        Talked to my mom this morning and got the place she is getting her “Pain Ointment”.
        Short story, I guess Mom was at some gardening show in Portland and was having a little problems walking, this very nice lady came over and talked with her for awhile and gave her a jar of her ointment to use, with only a phone number on it. Mom tried it for a little bit and has ordered it ever since and has become a good friend with the lady.

        Do a search on; JJPate Pain Ointment

        It is a very simple website so you may want to give the owner a call.

        1. alright, I remember devil’s club from being up there. I will have to contact some friends up there and see if I can avoid the $8 shipping. And i shall ask my daughter in Las vegas for special gummy bears.

  6. Comfrey (symphytum) Cream. The one I use is Traumaplant. They remove the pyrrolizidine alkaloids that can cause liver toxicity. Mfg in Germany.
    Arnica Montana is one of the very best herbs to use for muscles aches and bruises. Arnica has been studied and the Native American’s have used it for centuries.
    Both can be taken internally too. Just be careful with the Comfrey.
    Also in Homeopathy Ruta grav (Rue) is really good. I always keep some around for ‘trick knee’. It works, really does! As always, do your own research.

  7. Bio Freeze is a pretty good pain cream. It also comes in a roller applicator so it doesn’t get on your hands.

  8. I use a “tens” unit whenever I get severe back pain or soreness anywhere. It is the electrical impulse machine that chiropractors use. You can pick one up at most drug stores or big box store now. Works wonders on tense, inflamed muscles!!

    1. I also use a tens unit. It does help while it’s on but doesn’t have a lasting effect for me but I have 3 vertebrae that are held together with rods and screws. DW gives a deep massage that helps more than anything else. I also take meds from the VA for pain but no opiates. Some times I think the meds are not helping until I miss a dose then I realize how much they help.

    2. Those units are awesome! I use the wife’s a lot.
      I try and do yoga stretches as much as possible during the injury as well.
      The wife’s got me on oils too.

  9. has anyone tried “mustard compress”? used to hear folks talk about this.

      1. Anonymous

        —well you jest (or make a little fun), but I forgot all about garlic. Have not tried this myself, but have heard/read of mashed garlic used for many things…—-apply under a band-aid daily for week or so to remove a wart — poultice of garlic applied under wrap for sprains…Of course I myself have not tried that either…

        1. Heck, the DW is Italian. Between the garlic in her cooking and my elderberry wine, we Haven’t had the flu in years!😁

        2. Minerjim — there you are. All the proof one needs. Grin. re the elderberry wine, though, I have read a fair bit about red/dark wine having some good properties, and a lot about elderberry good stuff…put the two together as you have and you may just have the elixir of health and longevity……—- so just curious, with regular consumption of garlic and elderberry wine…do you have any health complaints/arthritis/etc?

        3. Jane Foxe,
          We have our minor aches and pains, mostly from farming and building the homestead. Turmeric and black pepper helps those pains. We are mid-60s and do have some minor issues, but are fairly healthy. We love onions, garlic. The elderberry wine we have been doing for awhile. It seems to keep the flu away, and lessens the duration and severity of what few colds we get. Don’t know if we have found the elixer of life (none is us are going to get out of this life alive), but it does seem to keep us healthier than most of our friends.

        4. Tommyboy,
          I’ll get the elderberry wine recipe to you this weekend on the Free for All. (I am on the road right now.)

        5. Minerjim
          Well maybe just more than Tommyboy, awaiting that recipe on the weekend post!😁

        6. JC
          Maybe some distance collaberation,
          Im interested in peoples recipes for syrup too

        7. Minerjim — Thanks. Am always interested to hear of real world “trys” and results. This sort of “results” makes me think on giving same a try, so to speak. So often some “expert” says take this or eat that, and you look at them and they don’t look so healthy, so that stuff I pass.——Look forward to that recipe …

  10. On the heat pack cold pack thing. Cold packs are for injury with swelling. The swelling is caused by ruptured capillaries. These are the vessels that connect the arterial side of the blood flow to the venous side. They’re smaller than hairs. A sprain or strain can cause them to break and when they do they leak plasma and blood cells. Blood cells are what causes the visual bruising.The idea of using cold packs is that they cause the capillaries to constrict and leak less. In the ER we would recommend 1 lb bags of frozen vegetables. buy two bags and one starts to thaw put it back in the freezer and get the other one out. 10 or 15 minutes on then 10 or 15 off. Continuous could cause frost bite. Remember the swelling out is also swelling in which an cause more pain by pressing on the nerves. Capillaries heal in abut 72 hours. At that point using warm packs will help reabsorb the fluid in the tissue.

    Cold packs for swelling due to an infection is an absolute NO NO! Go with the heat packs from the start. In this case you are wanting to maximize blood flow as blood fights infection. Putting cold packs on could make it worse. I mention this because when we first moved into this area my daughter was dating a guy who had a tissue infection on his leg. The ER nurse had told him to use cold packs. I asked him if she was young? Answer was yes. Synopsis, new graduate nurse on her first assignment didn’t get it right.

    If it feels too cold take it off, if it feels too hot take it off. I had occasion to use a chemical heat pack on a lieutenant in Vietnam. This guy was a gung-ho airborne infantry ranger. He just sat there and held it in place, When we took it off he didn’t have a first degree burn, he had went all the way to second degree.

    Just wanted to male it clear, cold for injury swelling for the first three days. Heat for infection swelling from the start and never cold.

    1. me, Another option for a COLD pack. Joy dish washing detergent in a ziplock bag. Put in freezer.. it will not freeze solid, and will conform to shape needed.I double bag with as little air inside as possible for best results. This tip was given to Uncle with muscle tear.He passed it on and we use it frequently.

  11. my long time girl friend has cerebral palsy and i was looking for a natural way to kill pain for her WITHOUT heavy duty pain killers in doing so i found that ginger and green tea work for not only killing pain but a whole other host of other things but thats a whole other story

  12. I am swearing by steroid shots lately. I have tried all kinds of things on my shoulders that have osteopenia on the way to osteoporosis because of cancer drugs. And bursitis from overworking- no one ever accused me of that but at 70 I guess it can happen!

    1. old lady, Try Vitamin K2, avail at big box store. It s one of B vitamins that new research came out on, in last year. It moves minerals already in body to correct places. result is often stronger bones. should combine it with magnesium and D3 in 5-10K daily dose. for best results…. Shoulders tke a beating for those who do housework, service jobs…etc. My latest is to a muscle… but also have some Authur problems. I have been on K2,w/ magnesium and D3 for about 4 months and it see,s to be helping. BTW, steroids destroy bone tissue in the long term.

Comments are closed.