Yes! But not in a way that you think.
|Can Epsom Salt Relieve Pain? But Not In A Way That You Think. Science has not proven that soaking in Epsom salt relieves pain. But it may have other benefits.|
What is Epsom Salt?
Also referred to as Epsoms Salt or Epsom Salts. The most common usage is Epsom Salt. And, it’s not actually a salt. It is a compound of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. It gets the name Epsom from the town in England, where it was first discovered.
Because of the way the compound looks, it was labeled with the name salt. And this became known as bath salts. It has a bitter taste, so it usually isn’t consumed internally. But some people do consume it. Check with your doctor before you do so!
The compound is promoted to have many health benefits, among them being relief of pain. That is why I decided to research the topic. It fulfills my requirement of being natural and you don’t even have to ingest it to experience its benefits.
What Kind of Pain Will Respond To This Treatment?
I am interested in treatment of my chronic pain. If you have pain every day, throughout the day, then you want relief. Will epsom salt help my buttock pain (like sciatica) that is caused by spinal stenosis? Probably not.
The common use for epsom salt is to pour it in a warm bath. The claims are that it relaxes muscles so the soreness and ache goes away. This soreness is usually due to overexertion from exercise. However, I have sore muscles too so maybe I will get some relief.
But doesn’t the effect come more from the warm bath than the salt? Good question. The answer is more than likely yes. The warm water has a wonderful relaxing effect and therefore soothes the aching muscles.
So what does the epsom salt contribute? Not much, it seems. There just isn’t enough evidence to support the popular claim that epsom salt has a therapeutic effect.
So What Does Epsom Salt Do?
The prevalent claim is that the magnesium in the epsom salt soaks into the body through the skin and relaxes the achy muscles. These claims are not substantiated and therefore merely unproven opinions.
So you will find many blogs on the internet claiming how Epsom salt can help you feel better, but there is no proof of the effects. I researched this topic because I wanted to see if it actually helped. But I was saddened to see there is no science to back up these numerous claims.
How Should You Use Epsom Salt?
If you want to use epsom salt anyway, despite the fact that there isn’t scientific proof that it helps manage pain, the best way to use it is in a warm bath.
Make sure you pour the salt under a running faucet, so the crystals dissolve. Then soak for up to 20 minutes. A word of caution. Soaking in hot water can raise your blood pressure and make you feel faint, so maybe start with five minutes and work up. I’m not a medical professional, but I know those warnings are on hot tubs.
It is my opinion that the true medicinal relief is from the warm bath. Soaking in warm water has a relaxing effect, both on the muscles, and the mind. Warming your body up on a cold night with a warm bath can wrap you in a cozy cocoon and promote a calm mind. This should lead to a better night’s sleep.
Is There Science To Back It Up?
A study published in 2011 in the National Center for Biotechnology Information states what I have been saying. There simply isn’t enough evidence to back up all the claims about epsom salt relieving pain.
This article does report that the body does need magnesium. However, it is not going to acquire it through soaking in epsom salt. We get magnesium through food. Some individuals will benefit from a supplement. But you should talk to your doctor before starting this supplement.
It is especially indicated to assist with a healthy pregnancy and lactation. It also helps patients with diabetes and prediabetes. This extensive report from Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute reports on these findings.
You should be able to maintain a healthy magnesium level by eating leafy greens in a salad, and having a potato now and then. These foods contain magnesium.
Are There Side Effects?
There appears to be hardly any side effects to using epsom salt in the bath. It is recommended that you rinse your body after soaking in the bath. The residue of the salt may dry out your skin. If you do develop a rash after soaking, chances are you may have a sensitivity to the salt and may want to avoid using it.
Also, ingesting it can have side effects. One of these is diarrhea. So please talk with your doctor.
Other Suggestions To Manage Pain
I have numerous articles about how to manage pain, or find some relief from pain. One of my articles is Relaxation Techniques For Pain. If you are looking for a way to relax, you should read about these suggestions.
Or if you want to use a natural product to assist you in relaxing and feeling better, then lavender has been shown to have some effect on pain relief. I wrote Can Lavender Soothe Chronic Pain? Yes, According to Science!
These two articles should provide some ideas for you to try to manage your pain.
From the research that is available to us, science concludes there is no actual measurable proof that epsom salt promotes pain relief. So don’t waste your money on this product if you are seeking to relieve your pain.
Your thoughts and comments are welcome. Please let me know what you think. And if you have any questions, leave them here and I will do my best to answer them.