Injured muscles, strains, and sprains are common orthopedic injuries. A sprain occurs when the ligament that is attached to the bone becomes harmed. A strain is often referred to as a pulled muscle and is an injury to the tendon also connected to the bone. Most commonly, they happen in the wrist, elbow, knee, or ankle. Twisting or overstretching the ligaments can cause tears in the ligament tissue. Strains and sprains are either mild or severe depending on the damage done. Here is a list of 5 ways you can effectively treat your injured joints or muscles.
Heat, Ice, Rest
If your strain is mild or if you’ve pulled a muscle, you can treat the injuries at home. The primary treatment is compression, ice, elevation, and rest. If you believe the injury to be more severe, you will need to be evaluated by a doctor.
Anti-inflammatory medication and over-the-counter pain relievers will help reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. Ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen, and Aspercreme are a few examples. Vitamin C, turmeric, zinc, and glucosamine are also known to fight inflammation. You should consult with your physician before taking any vitamins, over-the-counter drugs, or supplements.
Massage, cupping, and acupuncture are all holistic forms of that can treat sprain, strain, or muscle injury. Many elite athletes use acupuncture to treat their injuries and reduce the pain that comes with it. Researchers believe that Chinese therapy can increase the range of motion and circulation, and speed up healing time by balancing the cardiovascular and neurological systems.
Physical therapy can help manage pain and improve mobility. Physical therapy rehabilitation will depend on the degree of the strain. The cornerstones of physical therapy treatment are therapeutic exercise and functional training. In addition to “hands-on” care, physical therapists also educate patients to take care of themselves and to perform certain exercises on their own.
Go for a Soak
Hot tubs and saunas are great for recovery. It allows massaging of muscle tissue and for the muscles to relax. Swim spas and hot tubs relax sore muscles, improve mobility and flexibility, and strengthen muscles.
Chronic or repeated injuries may be best treated with surgery if traditional treatment isn’t working. Surgical options include arthroscopy where a doctor uses small instruments to remove loose cartilage, bone, or fragments caught in the joint. Reconstruction is another option where the damaged ligament can be reconstructed by replacing a tissue graft taken from other tendons found around the ankle.
You can prevent sprains and strains from occurring by wearing properly fitted shoes, stretching daily, wearing protective equipment for sports, and warming-up before any physical activity. Also, maintaining a healthy weight and bones along with a proper diet will help prevent future injuries.
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