An injury in a joint due to tearing or overstretching of a ligament is referred to as a sprain. Ligaments are basically fibrous tissues that connect the bones to each other and help stabilize the joints
More often than not, the injury occurs when a joint is overextended. It can be caused by a sudden twist, fall, or blow to the body.
Sprains are common in knees, ankles, toes, and wrists. They are characterized by symptoms like pain, swelling, and bruising. Moreover, it tends to decrease your ability to move or use the affected joint.
Healing Sprains Naturally
When dealing with a sprain, it is recommended to follow the RICE therapy for a couple of days after the injury to help reduce pain and inflammation. This therapy involves Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
Thus, rest the sprained joint and do not put weight or pressure on it. Apply an ice pack several times in a day every three to four hours for about 10-15 minutes at a time to reduce pain and swelling.
In addition, use compression in the form of bandage, elastic wrap, splint, etc. to avoid further injury and provide support.
While wrapping the injury with dressing, make sure you apply moderate pressure but do not compress too much or else it may hinder circulation to the joint.
Plus, it is advised to keep the affected area elevated (above the level of heart) in order to decrease the swelling.
After two to three days, your doctor may recommend special exercises to prevent stiffness and restore the joint’s strength and flexibility. A formal physical therapy program may also be required in some cases to promote proper healing.
Check out this video explaining about ankle sprain rehabilitation exercises.
Furthermore, it is believed that massaging with a combination of one teaspoon each of almond oil and garlic oil works as a natural home remedy for this problem. Similarly, massaging the sprained joint with comfrey oil or cream relieves pain.
In addition, soaking the injured limb in warm water mixed with half a cup of ginger powder, half a cup of baking soda and a teaspoon of eucalyptus essential oil, too, is considered beneficial. You may also add marshmallow tea in a hot bath.
Moreover, applying a paste prepared by adding one teaspoon each of lime powder and organic honey may help cure a mild sprain at home.
Herbal remedies emphasize on the use of St. John’s wort and yarrow as they have anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties. You can apply a tincture of arnica or take its homeopathic preparation, as well.
Plus, needless to say, see your doctor as soon as possible for prompt treatment, especially in case of a moderate or severe sprain with excruciating pain and signs like a clicking or popping sound in the ruptured ligament and complete inability to move the joint.
The time for recovery from a sprain usually depends on the extent of injury. Moderate sprains, for instance, can take about three to six weeks to heal.
In addition, it is recommended to avoid overworking the affected limb for a few months to prevent re-injury. Minor muscle sprains, on the other hand, are likely to resolve within a matter of days.
If you want to prevent strains, it is suggested to exercise regularly so as to strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Furthermore, stretch properly before an activity, especially prior to a workout.