Sprains

Sprains are overstretched or injured joint ligaments and muscle. There are three grades of sprains:

  • Grade 1 sprains are mild, without any ligament tears, and only mild tenderness and swelling of the affected area.
  • Grade 2 sprains involve partial tearing of the ligaments, accompanied by obvious swelling, bruising, and difficulty trying to use the joint normally, including bearing weight.
  • Grade 3 sprains involve a complete tear of the ligament, long with pronounced swelling, extreme bruising with hemorrhaging under the skin, joint instability, and inability to use the joint at all.

Muscle spasms can be a symptom of all grades of sprains, and pain due to sprains usually increases when attempts are made to move the involved joint.

What To Consider

Grade 1 sprains can be treated using supportive elastic bandages, tape, or therapeutic splinting to create immobilization, and elevation, followed by very mild exercise.

Grade 2 sprains need to be immobilized for at least three weeks, and require manual medicine and rehabilitation. Seek immediate medical attention.

Grade 3 sprains require casts and, in some cases, surgery. X rays are also usually necessary to rule out fractures. Seek immediate medical attention.

Self-Care Tips

Do Immediately
For all grades of sprains, apply alternate ice and moist heat to the affected area, alternating between ice and heat for 20 minutes each, and starting and ending with ice. Also elevate and immobilize the joint. When the joint no longer hurts after use, and after all swelling, bruising, and spasm is gone, begin gentle mobilization exercises.

Diet
Eat an organic, whole foods diet with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Nutritional Supplementation
Take proteolytic enzymes away from meal times on an empty stomach to reduce swelling. Also take vitamin C and bioflavonoids, along with calcium and magnesium if muscle spasm is involved. The amino acids arginine and glycine taken away from meals are also recommended to speed recovery.

Aromatherapy
Make a cold compress with camphor, lavender, chamomile, eucalyptus, or rosemary and apply over the affected area.

Herbs
Combine equal parts of the tinctures of horsetail, nettle, and willow bark and take one teaspoon of this mixture three times a day.

Homeopathy
Useful homeopathic remedies are Arnica, Arnica cream, and Ruta grav.

Hydrotherapy
Cold and hot packs applied for 20 out of each hour for the first 24-36 hours can ease pain and speed recovery time.

Juice Therapy
Drink plenty of fresh, organic vegetable juices, including beet, radish, and garlic. Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) applied topically is often helpful.

Caution

If your symptoms persist despite the above measures, seek the help of a qualified health professional.

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