A Natural Approach to Health
Living With Sprains and Strains
I had a question the other day about sprains and strains.
A sprain isn’t the same thing as a strain.
If your muscle is stressed beyond its capability, it becomes strained.
Putting undue weight on your muscles and using them for prolonged periods without rest can create muscle strain.
A strained muscle may go into spasms or knot up instead of relaxing normally.
Pain during movement, swelling, and loss of mobility occur.
If one of your ligaments, tissues connecting bones to muscles, is wrenched or stretched excessively, your ligament may tear, causing a sprain.
There’s likely to be a brief sharp pain followed by rapid swelling.
Soft tissue surrounding your joint may be sore and bruised.
Sprains result from unexpected movement or twisting of the affected area, or from a hard fall.
The joints most often sprained are your ankle, back, finger, knee, and wrist.
These types of injuries are common in athletes.
In most cases, they heal on their own.
Minor sprains can usually be treated at home.
However, anytime an injury becomes painful and swollen, you should see a medical professional, especially if you hear a popping sound and you can’t use the injured joint normally.
Aromatherapy can be helpful.
Cold compresses made with essential oils of camphor, chamomile, eucalyptus, lavender, and/or rosemary are good.
Add 10 drops or so of essential oil to 1 quart of cool water and use the mixture to make the compresses.
Clay poultices can be used to treat sprains and fractures.
The following supplement program can help these injuries heal.
To deal with sprains and strains it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 8-10 glasses of purified water daily.
*Boswellia, an Ayurvedic herb, is good for reducing inflammation. Boswellia cream can be good for relieving pain as well.
*Fenugreek and flaxseed powder can be combined with slippery elm bark to make a poultice for swelling.
*Ginger is also a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory effects.
*Horse chestnut extract gel, applied topically to the injured area, can reduce swelling and inflammation.
*Mustard poultices are good for swelling and can relax tense muscles.
*After the initial treatment of applying ice to your injury, combine turmeric and a little hot water to make a paste. Apply this mixture to your injured area with a gauze dressing. This treatment helps reduce swelling. It’s also great for bruising.
*Immediately after your injury, raise the affected area – above heart level if possible – and apply ice for no longer than 20 minutes. Don’t use heat immediately following the injury. On the first day, apply ice for 20 minutes and then remove ice for 20 minutes. Continue this throughout the day. On day two, apply ice intermittently every 4 hours. Then, after the inflammation has subsided, apply heat for 20-minute periods 2-3 times a day. If possible, use a splint or sling to immobilize and protect your injured area.
*If there’s significant swelling, call your physician right away or go to a hospital emergency room to have the injury evaluated. Especially with injuries to the wrists and ankles, it’s wise to have x-rays taken to make sure no bones have been broken.
*Drink plenty of juices made from fresh raw vegetables, including beets, garlic, and radishes. Raw vegetables are high in valuable vitamins and enzymes.
*To prevent sprains and strains, do stretching exercises both before and after exercise and other physical activity.
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