Sunday, July 26, 2009

Natural remedies to heal muscles, ligaments & tendons.

Hi, I am a 29 yr old female. I have been a vegetarian for about 10 years. I first went off red meat at 15, then seafood, then turkey and chicken when I was about 20/21 yrs old.

I am now almost vegan. I have stopped eating dairy almost completely. I avoid foods with animal products when possible to read the label or get a straight answer in a restaurant. I am becoming concerned because I seem to be getting injured a lot lately.

Over the last couple of years, I have had several instances of lower back injury. This has required physical therapy and in most cases taking anti-inflammatory and anti-spasm drugs until the pain subsides enough to handle. My knees are also an issue and I cannot seem to handle even a simple hike without pain.

I am concerned because not only does it happen a lot, but the injuries are not healing quickly. Currently, my knee is in pain from hitting it on a pole 2 weeks ago, my toe is in pain from hitting it on something in the hall 3 days ago and I am now practically immobilized by pain in my upper back. I pulled something in my upper back lifting groceries yesterday. The only other time I have experienced upper back pain is when I was in a car accident 10 years ago and I have not felt is since.

It is not just the injuries that concern me. I played darts and my muscles were sore for days. Just regular darts and I didn't play for all that long. Even simple tasks seem to cause muscle soreness and it can last for a long time. I am very concerned.

Could this be diet related? I get the feeling that my muscles, ligaments, or tendons are not getting what they need to bounce back like they should. It seems that my muscles, or ligaments or tendons or all of the above are deteriorating. I have tried to talk to my regular doctor about it, but I have gotten nowhere. What should I do? Thank you

Answer: You may want to add some fresh pineapple and pineapple juice to your diet. Pineapples are high in the enzyme bromelain, which is a natural anti-inflammatory and encourages healing.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, the bromelain in pineapples has many health benefits. "Bromelain has an anti-inflammatory effect and is a very effective treatment for severe bruises and hematomas. It can promote the healing of injuries (including sprains and strains) and relieve pain, swelling, and tenderness. Studies have also shown that bromelain can reduce postoperative swelling, . . . Other studies have suggested that bromelain can help relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis."

You may also want to add ginger and turmeric (also known as curcumin) to your diet as well, because they too have anti-inflammatory effects. I believe that the best way to obtain these healthful compounds is from food sources.

However, you can also take them in pill form for days that you do not eat pineapple, ginger or turmeric. These can be found at health food stores and most drug stores.

If you decide to take these, Dr. Weil recommends taking: two 500 mg capsules of powdered ginger 1-2 times a day with food; 400 to 600 mg capsules of turmeric (curcumin) three times a day; and/or 250 mg of bromelain three times a day on an empty stomach.

To help with your back pain, you may want to try yoga and stretch exercises. Yoga is terrific for improving your overall muscle tone and posture, safely strengthening your back, balancing your nerve performance, promoting flexibility and neutralizing stress.

Stretching exercises that focus upon your hamstrings and abdominal exercises are also good to minimize back spasms, provide back support and strengthen back muscles.

For more information, visit Dr. Andrew Weil's website at

To find a yoga teacher, class or event near you, go to the YogaFinder website at

A great yoga video is Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies with Sara Ivanhoe

Also you may want to read my article "Pineapples: The Healing Fruit of the Tropics with recipe for Pina-Banana Orange Smoothie"

Copyright © by Monique N. Gilbert.
All rights reserved.

Permission must be obtained to use information from this blog.

Want to improve your health naturally,
feel energetic, stress-free and full of life?

Get the guidance and encouragement you need to achieve your goals.

Click here to learn more about Monique N. Gilbert's
Personal Health, Nutrition & Wellness Writing.


Monique N. Gilbert, BSc. has offered guidance in health, nutrition, fitness and stress management since 1989. Through her writings, Monique motivates and teaches how to improve your well-being, vitality and longevity with balanced nutrition, physical activity and healthy stress-free living.


Copyright © 2000-2011 by Monique N. Gilbert.
All Rights Reserved.
Permission must be obtained to use information from this blog.

This blog is only intended to offer health information to help you understand the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle. It is not intended to diagnose, dispense medical advise or prescribe the use of diet as a form of treatment for illness without medical approval. In the event you use this information without a health practitioner's approval, you are prescribing for yourself, which is your right. However, the publisher and author assume no responsibility.