Home Remedies for Sprains and Strains
Muscles sprains or strains are a common occurrence, more so in athletes. This is due to the muscle getting contracted with force or getting stretched beyond its limits. This is definitely extremely painful but you can get some relief if you follow some simple home remedies immediately. You might even avoid a visit to the doctor if this is sorted out. Before you choose any home remedy it is advisable to know the difference between a strain and a sprain.
A strain is a stretch or tear to your tendon or muscle and a sprain is a tear or stretch to your ligament. In most cases, you find that your ankle tends to sprain easily and strains normally occur in the hamstring or the lower back.
Self-care and Home Remedies:
Sprains and strains, if not too severe, can be tackled at home with the tips listed below.
- Rest and more rest, this is one of the essential requirements for getting some relief of the pain. You need to avoid any activity which can put additional burden on the affected area. There are chances of an increase in the swelling.
- An ice-pack can work wonders for the pain, swelling and inflammation. This needs to be placed on the area which is affected for at least 15 to 20 minutes. This procedure needs to be repeated every couple of hours for maximum effect.
- It is advisable to use some sort of compression like bandages, elastic bands, air casts, special boots or splints for pain compression. This can eliminate the risk of any further injury.
- The swelling can decrease if the affected area is kept elevated.
- Include pineapple in your daily meals to get some relief from the pain. The bromelain in pineapple helps in the healing process. Any itching caused by the consumption of pineapple indicates that this does not suit you and thus needs to be immediately stopped.
- Try massaging the affected area with comfrey cream or oil.
- Horse chestnut gel needs to be applied to the affected area in a two hour gap. This is anti inflammatory and contains aescin, a compound which helps in the healing of injuries.
- You can decide on OTC drugs for minor sprains and strains. The NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can give you relief to a large extent.
In case the pain is unbearable and cannot be tolerated, it is always advisable to consult your doctor. Sprains and strains take anywhere between 2 to 12 weeks to heal. At times you are confused and do not know how to deal with this. The doctor can be a perfect decision as you have a proper diagnosis and the medication required to help you deal with this in a better manner.
If you are limping even after 24 hours of the sprain or strain it is time to consult your doctor. There are different grades of sprains and strains. Grade 1 can be easily tackled but the grade 2 and the grade 3 need medical attention.