A sprain is defined as, when your muscles are either torn or overstretched that causes discomfort and pain on the affected site. It is mainly caused by either twisting of joints or an injury to the ligaments that connect the adjacent bones. Risk factors for getting sprains or strains are:
- Walking on uneven or rough roads
- Wearing high heels
- Lifting heavy objects
- High-speed sports
- Road traffic accidents
Sprains or strains can be of mild or severe of nature. There are different signs and symptoms which the patient can develop when he/she gets sprain/strain. These are followings:
- Restricted range of mobility
Apply Ice Packs
Applying ice packs to the affected portion of the body is the simplest, easiest and most commonly used method to treat sprains/strains in the home. It reduces pain, swelling and inflammation. Ice also reduces inflammation of the ligaments and stops bleeding if any occurs. Ice packs should be applied for first 2-3 days after the injury. The simplest way is to wrap few cubes of ice in towel or piece of cloth and apply it over the affected portion for 20 minutes and repeat the process 2 times a day.
Compression over Swelling
Compression also helps in reduces swelling and pain. It prevents further swelling and also reduces the pain. To reduce pain and swelling, compression bandages are applied over the affected portion. For applying compression over the swelling specialized stockings, elastic compressions, tape or specialized boots are used for better results. The bandage should not be wrapped too tightly to stop the blood flow or too loose and remember to remove the compression bandage before going to sleep.
Garlic: An Anti-inflammatory Agent
Garlic is commonly used to relieve the signs and symptoms of the sprain. It has excellent anti-inflammatory properties due to which it can reduce pain as well as swelling. Garlic has also healing properties due to which it increases the healing process due to its ability to increase strength and energy.
Turmeric: An Excellent Pain Reliever
Turmeric powder is excellent pain reliever due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces the pain and swelling. It has also anti-spasmodic properties due to which it relaxes the muscles and prevents further swelling. Mix one tablespoon of lime juice, one tablespoon of warm water and 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder and make a paste of these components. Apply this paste over the swelling of sprains/strains and wrap the paste with some bandage. Repeat the process after every 12 hours and continue for 3-4 days.
Arnica Essential Oil
Arnica essential oil is widely used to treat the sprains/strains because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It increases the healing process and strengthens the muscles and joints. Arnica has excellent anti-inflammatory reagents that reduce the swelling and pain as well. Few drops of arnica essential oil are applied over the affected portion and gently massage it. The bandage is applied over the massaged portion and remove it after at least 4-5 hours and repeat the process twice daily for 4-5 days.
Epsom salt contains MgSO4 that is used to give a soothing effect to sore muscles and ligaments. A cup of Epsom salt is poured into warm water in a tub and dissolve it. Soak the sprained ankle in the salt containing water for 20-30 minutes. Repeat this process twice daily for 3-4 days.
Onion: A Natural Anti-inflammatory
Onion has excellent anti-inflammatory properties due to which it can be used to treat sprains/strains and arthritis as well. It can reduce the swelling and decrease the pain. Chop an onion into small pieces and wrap it in the cotton cloth and tie it over the sprained portion. Repeat this process twice daily to decrease the symptoms.
Castor oil is also used for sprains/strains due to its healing properties. Castor oil is massaged over the affected portion twice daily for 3-4 days.
Olive oil contains certain phenolic compounds that can decrease the symptoms of sprained ankle. Heat the olive oil for few minutes and then let it cool. Then apply this olive oil over the affected portion and give a gentle massage. Wrap the massaged area with the bandage. Repeat this process twice daily for 3-4 days.