Friday, March 29, 2013

Epsom Salts for Pain Relief

Hope springs eternal; no pun intended.  With temperatures finally climbing into the 50s this weekend, I'm ready to declare the official beginning of gardening season.  And if you are like us, that typically means finding muscles you never knew you had and abusing them in ways you haven't done since last October.

Actually, Mr. FC&G and I are always finding new ways to abuse muscles and joints.  As you may know from reading this blog, our hobby is ballroom dancing.  It is a wonderful activity to share with your spouse, and it is tremendous exercise, but you can believe what you see on Dancing with the Stars when otherwise healthy middle aged people start sprouting strains and injuries like crocuses popping through the snow.  Done correctly, dancing can be strenuous; done incorrectly (like while you are learning a new technique), it can be inadvertently painful.

But you hate to come home from a night of doing something good for your body and pop a handful of pills.  It kind of seems counterintuitive, don't you think?  So I have been investigating non-medication aides to help with sore joints and muscles.

Epsom salts are a traditional home remedy that is recommended for use in soaking baths and in hot compresses to help with sprains, strains, sore muscles, and bruises.  It also has a variety of other uses, as you can see on the bag above, including as a laxative and as a gardening aid.  I haven't investigated those.

Somehow, Epsom salts, once a staple of everyone's home, somehow has sunk into oblivion as we reach over the bag at the store and for the OTC pain relievers and for the prescriptions from the doctor.  It is too bad.  I fully intend to investigate the mechanisms of action of this simple salt, as well as its other uses, but right now let me say that I have tried it a few times in a hot soaking bath for pain relief for my bad knee, and I am pleased with the results.

Two cups in a tubful makes a nice bath and an excuse to read a book for 20 minutes.  The times I have tried it, I have had significant pain relief.  Now, this is not the kind of dramatic pain relief you get when you pull out the big prescription guns, but it is a slow easing of the pain that seems to last very nicely through the night if you do it right before bedtime.  It certainly has allowed me to avoid hitting the OTC pain killers a couple of times.

Two cups sounds like a lot, but the whole 6 pound bag was only $3.29 at the grocery.  A bargain for some natural pain relief, I say.  I'm definitely going to keep us stocked up and maybe see what other wonders this simple remedy has in store.

The Analysis
Fast:  I starting feeling pain relief within about 20 minutes with an Epsom salt bath, which is about the amount of time required for pills to hit your bloodstream.

Cheap:  Epsom salts are cheap, but you do use a lot.  However, I think the cost is manageable to avoid taking medications when possible.

Good:  Anything that soothes those sore joints and muscles is a good idea to me!
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  1. This is the post just what I was looking around. I've been suffering by muscle and joint pain from several days, I am using Advil Generic 400mg my doctor was prescribed me and now hopeful for getting relief. Thanks

    1. Feel better! And let us know if it works for you!