muscle and joint pain treatment

Written by Vera Coetsee, Health and Nutrition Coach

24 Nov 2022

Body aches and pains are often associated with ageing, however, nowadays more people, young and old, are experiencing these symptoms and looking for muscle and joint pain treatment. If you need help with muscle pain, then keep reading. Before you reach for the painkillers, muscle pain can be treated naturally without having to rely on modern pharmaceuticals and dealing with the negative side effects of these drugs. 

The cause of muscle pain and aches can be difficult to self-diagnose, especially if you haven’t had an obvious injury such as dislocating a shoulder or tearing a muscle during sports.  When pain develops slowly over time without the occurrence of an obvious injury or accident, and when the pain becomes chronic and the source is unknown, then you might have to look a bit deeper on what is going on in the body. This is when seeking professional help from a physiotherapist can be extremely valuable.

Before we share advice from our physiotherapist at Restore Integrative Medical Clinic,  let’s discuss a few lifestyle and diet tips you can incorporate for muscle and joint pain treatment.


Incorporate the Right Exercise

Not a surprise to anyone, a major part of a healthy lifestyle includes daily physical activity. For many years the recommendation for muscle and joint pain treatment was rest and inactivity, but now we know that not being active can lead to weak muscles, resulting in worsening muscle pain. Our bodies were made to move, and our sedentary lifestyle that includes sitting most of the day can cause severe muscle pains. This doesn’t mean you have to sweat in the gym. There are many ways to incorporate more movement into your day such as going for a walk during your lunch hour or taking the stairs, instead of the elevator. Although, it is important to incorporate the right exercise into your lifestyle that will not cause any further pain. There are many different types of exercise, therefore, talk to your healthcare provider on which type will benefit your condition.  It has also been shown that daily movement can also stimulate the immune system and help reduce achiness and pain.

Eat more Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Food is medicine, and it is important to never underestimate the power of a healthy diet. Inflammation in the body due to an unhealthy diet can lead to various body aches and pain. One of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation comes not from drugs, but from food. Eating many colourful fruits and vegetables, complete and lean protein, whole grains, nuts, seeds and healthy fats will provide you with the right nutrients to fight inflammation in the body. Also, it is important to limit your sugar, processed foods and refined carbohydrate intake, since these foods can increase inflammation which can lead to further muscle pain. Foods that fight inflammation include fatty fish, nuts, green leafy vegetables, olive oil, and fruits such as blueberries and strawberries. If you are looking for an anti-inflammatory diet to follow, consider the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish and healthy oils. 

Supplement with Magnesium Glycinate

Magnesium is a mineral, which is essential in energy production. It also supports hundreds of chemical reactions or processes in your body, including regulating muscle and nerve function. It is key for preventing muscle soreness and cramping. Unfortunately, many people don’t get the daily recommended amount of magnesium through their diet, and thus need to supplement with this mineral to help prevent muscle pain. There are several forms of magnesium supplements available, so make sure to select the correct one to support your health concern. If you have constipation, magnesium citrate can help, but for those who experience muscle cramping and pain, we recommend you to opt for magnesium glycinate. Natural food sources of magnesium include almonds, pumpkin seeds, leafy green vegetables, avocados and beans. Magnesium is also known to provide you with restful sleep, which is important to help combat muscle pain. 

Make an Appointment with a Physiotherapist

Due to the complexity of the joints and the vast number of possible causes of muscle pain, it is important to have a professional evaluation to determine the source. Combining traditional physiotherapy with craniosacral therapy and acupuncture to improve spinal alignment and muscle health, our physiotherapist can help relieve pain and improve chronic ailments associated with the musculoskeletal and nervous system. This will give you a clear picture of the root cause of your pain. If you are experiencing muscle pain, schedule a consultation at our clinic.

muscle and joint pain treatment

We asked our physiotherapist, Wendy Lam, to share her thoughts and advice on how to treat muscle pain naturally:


Q: Two common symptoms of muscular disorders are muscle pain and weakness. How often do you see client’s complain about these symptoms and what normally will be the root cause?

A: I see a lot of patients with muscular pain and weakness. Usually the immediate triggers of muscle pain are muscle strain, tension, overuse, injuries and stress. Muscle weakness is commonly due to muscle contusion, herniated disc, impinged nerve and lack of exercise. 

However I find the real root causes are indeed the imbalances and misalignment in the musculoskeletal system, which usually develop over a period of time. Many of my clients who have “tried everything” are usually concentrating on the site of pain or damage only. They are not aware of the fact that each component of our body interrelates with all the others. I always help clients to identify and treat the different areas of strain or stiffness in the body, which may seem to be unrelated at first. In fact, they exert a combined effect together and reduce the body’s overall ability to tolerate additional strains. For example, the knee may be compensating a tight hip or an ankle with an old sprain injury, taking up the extra pressure or shear forces when we walk or run, when it gets overloaded with time, knee pain starts to emerge. In this case, resolving the hip stiffness and correcting the biomechanics of the ankle joint are essential in getting rid of the knee pain.


Q: What advice will you share with a client if they complain about muscle pain?

A: The management of muscle pain depends on the causes. If it is due to an acute injury or strain, rest and applying ice to the affected area will be helpful. If you are experiencing chronic muscle muscle pain, you can try using a heat pad, stretching the muscles gently and doing massage to the tender points. However, if the pain persists and does not improve, you should consult a physiotherapist and look deeper to find the root cause of the muscle pain. 


Q: What is one thing everyone can do today to avoid struggling with muscle pain in the future?

A: I think improving flexibility is very helpful in maintaining muscle health and is good for muscle and joint pain treatment. Doing regular stretching can improve blood flow to the muscles and reduce the risk of injuries. It also helps to maintain the normal ranges of the motions in the joints. When doing stretching, there are few key points to remember. Make sure you are doing the correct stretching techniques. Listen to your body and see how far you can stretch each time. It may vary from day to day. You may also want to do the stretching exercises specific to your body needs, for example, if you need to sit for the whole day at work, stretching the iliopsoas muscle (the muscle responsible for trunk and hip flexion) will help to keep your back and pelvis more open and relaxed.