Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Does Epsom Salt Help Arthritis Pain

Reduce Soreness And Pain

Epsom Salt for Arthritis

An Epsom salt bath may provide pain relief and reduce swelling in people living with certain types of inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, and psoriatic arthritis.

Low levels of magnesium can ease the pain in people with arthritis. Epsom salt contains magnesium and may help the body get rid of toxins responsible for exacerbating inflammation while also reducing swelling, stiffness, and pain.

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What Factors To Consider Before Buying Epsom Salt

Grades

There are two types of Epsom salt: USP and agricultural. Always use USP grade for personal care and use, as it has been verified for purity. Agricultural or industrial grade is exempt from the same strict requirements as USP grade.

Fragrance

When looking for the finest bath salts, the aroma is an essential factor to consider, and the word “un-fragranced” might be deceiving. Even while they are highly beneficial for bath soaks, pure Epsom salts have no aroma or scent, so they won’t necessarily leave you or your bathroom feeling lovely.

Pure Dead Sea salt is unscented, although it may have a distinct earthy odor due to its origins and high concentration of components. If you want your bath soak to have a nice smell, look for items that have an essential oil or perfume added to them.

Cost

A normal two-pound bag of Epsom salt costs between $2.50 and $8, depending on the quality and whether any unique fragrances or additives are included.

Size of granules

Epsom salt resembles big salt crystals for the most part. While granule sizes may differ somewhat across manufacturers, they all dissolve in water.

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Mineral Baths Vs Regular Baths For Arthritis

There are many physical benefits to bathing in warm water when you have arthritis or chronic pain. The heat from the water is very soothing to stiff joints. And the practice of self-care and stress relief is very important for managing chronic diseases like arthritis.

The thermal and mechanical benefits of warm water are well-known and include muscle relaxation, improved joint mobility, and reduced pain, says Maura Daly Iversen, PT, DPT, SD, MPH, FAPTA, associate dean of clinical education, rehabilitation, and new initiatives at the Bouve College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.

Less evidence exists about the chemical benefits of mineral baths, she adds. Some studies show mineral baths can have an anti-inflammatory effect in patients with arthritis by increasing certain cells that mediate inflammation and by enhancing circulation and breathing.

Specifically, some research has shown decreases in the inflammatory chemicals interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor , along with increases in endorphins, the bodys natural pain killers, after mineral bath soaks.

Still, studies dont all agree on the chemical impact or even whether magnesium or other minerals can be absorbed through the skin.

In other words, whether the minerals in the baths have additional benefits for relieving arthritis symptoms beyond the relaxing act of bathing is not completely clear and is something researchers are still studying.

So What Does Get Across The Skin Because Obviously Some Things Do

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The skin is not a perfect barrier to all substances in all ways, which is obvious because of medicinal patches and creams, allergic reactions, and contact poisons. Some things do indeed get past that fibrous, fatty outer layer to interact with the living cells beneath, or even into the interstitial fluids and blood stream. How do they do it?

Size might matter. If molecules are small enough, they can slip through the skin like a small fish through a loose net. In 2000, Bos and Meinardi argued that a teensy enough molecule, smaller than an atomic mass of 500 Daltons, can drift through the stratum corneum27 the 500-Dalton rule. And the magnesium ions in an Epsom salt bath are way smaller than 500 Daltons, at a barely-there molecular weight of just 24 Daltons.

Im sure we can just stop there. Theres probably no debate or uncertainty about this, probably no other obscure and technical chemistry considerations. The magnesium is small enough to get through, case closed.

Ha ha, just kidding! As in sex, so too in chemistry: size is not the only thing that matters . Water molecules are also extremely tiny just 18 Daltons but recall from above that the skin is specifically structured to keep those teensy molecules out. And there are other ways to ban molecules. For instance, cells in the living layer of the skin take an active role in managing the passage of some substances.

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Supercharge Your Epsom Salt Bath With These Oils

If you want to supercharge your Epsom salt bath to make it even more effective at reducing painful muscles and joints, you can try making a homemade blend of pain-reducing essential oils. Make a sore muscle and joint pain blend by mixing the following ingredients together and using one cup of the mixture per bath.

  • 2 cups of Epsom salt
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 8 drops of pure grade peppermint essential oil
  • 5 drops of pure-grade lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops of pure-grade cinnamon essential oil
  • 3 drops of pure-grade rosemary essential oil

The Importance Of Glucosamine

As a supplement, glucosamine is often used to replace what is missing in the body and can be contributing to the manifestation of arthritis. Glucosamine is a proteinaceous sugar that is naturally produced in the body, and individuals who suffer from arthritis tend to show lower levels of this amino. However, supplementation replenishes the missing stores, and can also aid the body in the natural healing process.

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Reduced Pain And Swelling

Another common claim is that Epsom salt helps reduce pain and swelling.

Many people report that taking Epsom salt baths improves symptoms of fibromyalgia and arthritis.

Again, the magnesium is deemed responsible for these effects, since many people with fibromyalgia and arthritis are deficient in this mineral.

One study in 15 women with fibromyalgia concluded that applying magnesium chloride to the skin may be beneficial for reducing symptoms .

However, this study was based on questionnaires and lacked a control group. Its results should be taken with a grain of salt.

Summary

Most of the purported benefits of Epsom bath salts are anecdotal. On the other hand, oral magnesium supplements may benefit sleep, stress, digestion, exercise, and pain in people who are deficient.

How Does Epsom Salt Relieve Back Pain

Healing Cramps, Joint & Muscle Pain/The Power of Epsom Salt/Dr. Teal’s

Many people use Epsom salt baths to relieve muscle aches and back pain. In fact, some athletes swear by this home remedy, making Epsom salt a part of their regular health regimens. Although there are no clinical trials to confirm these results, the anecdotal accounts of the benefits of Epsom salt are staggering. Some of the ways that Epsom salt seems to relieve back pain includes:

  • Reduces Swelling/Inflammation: Many people experience back pain due to inflammation in the muscles, which could be caused by an injury, a medical condition or overexertion during a workout. Epsom salt reportedly reduces inflammation, thus relieving this painful side effect.
  • Relaxes Muscles: Tense muscles can be caused by a variety of conditions and may even be due to stress. When muscles are tense, this tends to exacerbate back pain. Epsom salt baths can ease and relax muscle tension.
  • Balances Electrolytes: Some report back pain as one of the side effects of an electrolyte imbalance. Taking an Epsom salt solution can help balance electrolyte levels, offering a healthier alternative to sugary sports drinks.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Knee Arthritis

While we are going to focus on arthritis knee pain relief with Epson salt baths in this post, we should take a quick look at the symptoms that knee arthritis causes. This will help you determine if you might be developing this condition, which means the treatment could commence at an early stage thus leading to more effective treatment measures.

Consumer Health Digest explains that the most common symptoms include pain that gets worse gradually, as well as inflammation. In some cases, the symptoms are accompanied by tenderness.

Popping sounds in the knee during movement, as well as a knee that locks up is also two signs that arthritis may be developing in the knee .

Furthermore, deformities and a reduction in the knees range of motion also signals the development of this condition.

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What Features To Look For In Epsom Salt

Ingredients

Substances Bath salts include a broad range of ingredients. Pure salts include only one component, whereas others may contain various nutrients, extracts, and colors.

If you have allergies or skin issues, stay away from products with a long list of ingredients since they are more likely to upset you. But if you prefer fragrant, moisturizing salts, there are specific alternatives available that are produced entirely of natural materials, contain no chemicals, and maybe good for your skin. Many individuals claim that soaks containing arnica, menthol, or eucalyptus are the most helpful for pain relief.

Form

The ideal way to soak in bath salts is up to you, but you do have an option. Some soaks come as a powder that froths up when mixed with water. Others will offer you big crystals that will dissolve when you put them in warm water. You could also see that certain salts have been transformed into a bath bomb shape, which looks lovely but disintegrates when submerged in water.

Quantity

Epsom salts are usually sold in bags ranging from one to six pounds in weight. Since Epsom salt can cluster when exposed to moisture, we recommend using bags with resealable seals.

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Can Soaking In An Epsom Salt Bath Help With Muscle Pain

The idea behind Epsom salt baths is this: dissolve the crystals in warm water, soak your aching part in for a few minutes, and your body will absorb the magnesium through the skin, causing the muscles to relax and reducing inflammation. Since magnesium, an essential mineral in our diets, is known to play an important role in muscle contraction, immune system response, and even brain function, it sounds plausible that this treatment would work for muscle pain.

Most likely, any pain relief benefits of Epsom salt soaks come more from the warmth of the waterthe heat encourages blood flow to aching parts, helping the muscles relax.

However, there is very little reliable proof that Epsom salt baths offer any exclusive benefit. First of all, it takes a lot more than placing something on our skin or even dissolving it in water to help get it through the skins protective barriers . This article on the Pain Science blog explains the absorption issue in detailread it if your interested if not, suffice it to say that magnesium particles are not easily if at all absorbed through the skin, even if dissolved. Second, theres no reliable evidence that the Epsom salts offer any measurable pain relief, even if the magnesium is absorbed.

Most likely, the benefits of Epsom salt soaks come from the warmth of the waterthe heat encourages blood flow to aching parts, helping the muscles relax.

Magnesium Deficiency And Supplementation

How to Use Epsom Salt for Back Pain (4 Relaxing Ways)

Magnesium is one of the essential minerals life finds a way, but not without a good supply of Mg it doesnt. We use a lot of the stuff: its one of the big three mineral nutrients, along with sodium and potassium. If its missing, blood pressure rises, glucose tolerance drops, and our nerves get just a wee bit trigger happy. Interestingly, fixing a deficiency is actually sedating! It literally calms your nerves, and that could certainly be relevant to chronic pain.48

So, despite its biological importance, deficiencies may be both common and related to pain. Its in roughly the same category as vitamin D deficiency and pain: it might matter to a lot of people, especially pain patients, and supplementing is quite safe.49 In the extremely scammy world of supplements and nutraceuticals, vitamin D and magnesium both stand out as being less lame .

The other big idea about magnesium is that it prevents cramps. This idea is mostly inspired by the myth that cramps are caused by dehydration and a shortage of electrolytes like Mg.50 If low Mg doesnt cause cramps, adding Mg probably wont prevent them.51

Magnesium deficiency causes

How does one develop hypomagnesemia in the first place? Mostly from alcohol abuse and diarrhea.

Its also a common side effect of proton pump inhibitor drugs for heartburn and acid reflux.

Theres plenty of magnesium in our food, so its rare to be deficient from an inadequate diet.

Magnesium deficiency symptoms

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Reasons To Soak Your Feet In Epsom Salt

Your grandma recommended it and its easy to understand why: Epsom Salt is a cheap, mineral-rich compound that has been favored over time for a variety of reasons. If your feet could use some TLC and pricey foot bath compounds cost more than your last pedicure, we offer you six reasons you can rely upon this grand old mix of magnesium and sulfate to pamper and even heal your feet.

1. Epsom Salt is regularly used by men, women, and especially athletes to relieve aches, pains and decrease inflammation. You dont have to be a marathon runner to crave relief. Specifically, if youre suffering from sore muscles and joint pain caused by arthritis or other bone-related ailments, soaking your feet in Epsom Salt could offer you lots of benefits and relief. You might also try an Epsom Salt foot bath to decrease swelling triggered by a foot injury.

2. Epsom Salt foot baths are recommended for use by people suffering from a variety of skin disorders. Hot water and this mix of minerals may be the solution you seek for foot conditions that include athletes foot and toenail fungus, both of which can make life miserable and uncomfortable. Because Epsom Salt products are said to have anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties, skin infections that result from debilitating assaults on the feet could benefit from long soaks.

How To Give Yourself A Mineral Bath At Home

Many people dont have the money or mobility to venture to a far-off spa. There arent formal studies of home mineral baths, but you can experiment for yourself and see if you notice an effect on your arthritis symptoms.

Dont stop your regular arthritis medication or other treatments. All of the studies showing a benefit used balneotherapy in addition to standard treatment, not as a substitute.

1. Add Epsom salt. Add about 2 cups of Epsom salt to your bath, pouring it under the faucet to help it dissolve as the tub fills. If you have a whirlpool bath, check with the manufacturer about whether mineral water is safe for the mechanisms.

2. Dont let the water get too hot. Keep it warm and comfortable, and dont go higher than a few degrees above body temperature. People with decreased sensation due to nerve damage, etc., should be very cautious with hot baths as they can inadvertently burn themselves, says Dr. Iversen.

3. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Thats the length of mineral baths in most spa studies.

4. Rinse off afterward. Epsom salt can dry the skin, and you may need to stop using it if that becomes a problem. Apply moisturizer or lotion, especially if you have psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.

5. Dress warmly. This will make the relaxing warmth last longer and help prolong the relaxation effects.

6. Make it a routine. Studies showing benefit in spa soaks were seen after two to three weeks of daily baths.

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How To Choose The Best Epsom Bath Salts

Check the label: To reap the muscle-calming benefits of the salt, its important that the bath time accessory comes from a reputable source and lists magnesium as the first ingredient, explains Dr. Laureano. There are many different types of magnesium, but two of the most common are magnesium sulfate and magnesium chloride. Magnesium chloride is another type of salt that is similar to the mineral compound found in seawater, which is also known to have healing properties.

Its also important to beware of online retailers who may offer great deals but cannot guarantee the quality or purity of magnesium. We recommend purchasing bath salts from trusted places like supermarkets and certified online retailers. You can also check the ingredients label and look for the type of magnesium listed.

Give it time: Itll take about 15 minutes of soaking and about 300 grams of salt for you to feel the mental and physical benefits of Epsom salts, per the Cleveland Clinic.

Dont overdo it: While Epsom salts are totally safe for sensitive skin, theres no need to soak in them daily. If youre just doing regular exercise, stick to doing salt baths about three times a week, says Ladis. If youre active on a professional level, I recommend doing warm Epsom salt baths or foot baths daily followed by an ice bath, which will help ease pain and inflammation, she says.

Ready to add some to your bath routine? Here are the best Epsom salts to elevate your me-time.

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