A strain is actually a stretch distended or ragged muscle or tendon. It may be mentioned here that tendons are basically tissues that attach muscles to bones. Any kind of bending or hauling of these tissues may result in a strain. People may endure strains unexpectedly or may even develop them over a period of time. In effect, hamstring and back muscle strains are very widespread. Several people develop strains even while participating in sports. The symptoms of strains may comprise muscle spasms, pain, swelling and difficulty while moving their muscles. Generally, they occur very frequently in the thigh, calf, groin or shoulders, resulting in pain and rigidness. Sprains are comparable to strains, but are usually graver and even sorer and take a longer time to cure.
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A sprain is a tautened or worn out ligament. For the uninitiated, ligaments are actually tissues that bind the bones at any joint. Getting hit, twisted or falling may all result in a sprain. Precisely speaking sprains of ankles and wrists are most common. The symptoms of a sprain may include swelling, pain, damaging and inability to move one's joint. In such cases, you are likely to experience a tear or pop when the injury takes place.
It may be noted that sprains and strains are caused by physical pressure on the muscles as well as other tissues. Overstretching prior to any exercise, raising any heavy object or excessive swinging a nine iron may generally result in a sprain. In fact, strains are caused by an unexpected force on a muscle, ligament or tendon. Any kind of sudden movement, for instance a fall or any bending motion, may jerk as well as rip these structures.
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In the initial stage, curing strains as well as sprains generally entails keeping the injured area in rest, regularly applying ice on the part, wearing any device or bandage that helps to compress the affected area as well as taking and using medications. In the later stages, the treatment may comprise exercises as well as physical therapy.
The factors that add to developing strains and sprains may comprise the following:
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Apart from taking precautions or self-care initiatives, you may also use herbs and supplements both internally as well as externally to support repair of the damaged tissue as well as make the injured areas strong and lessen inflammation. In fact, herbs and supplements may prove to be highly useful for treating strains and sprains and in most cases, they need to be used just for a brief period - a week or so, or till the injury improves.
It may be noted that a variety of oral supplements available in the market may be useful in hastening the healing process. In effect, all of them may be taken in combination with the conventional analgesics. In case you are enduring a sprain or a strain, you may try taking a high dose of vitamin A for five consecutive days, as this will facilitate the body using protein and repairing the damaged tissue. On the other hand, antioxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids help in healing as well as in restricting additional injury to the connective tissues and the muscles. Glucosamine is considered to be a cartilage builder (often referred to as the body's shock absorber) and it helps to fortify as well as protect the ligaments and joints.
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An enzyme obtained from the pineapple plant called bromelain may also help to avert swelling and lessen inflammation and, by this means, providing relief from pain. In addition, bromelain is also known to encourage blood circulation and, at the same time, hasten the recovery from the condition. Nevertheless, the amount of bromelain that is actually absorbed orally remains a controversial issue. While it has been found that majority of the people do not require manganese supplements regularly, people enduring sprains or strains may find taking a one week course of manganese supplements beneficial. In effect, manganese has a vital role in maintaining the health of the ligaments and tendons.
In addition to taking herbs and supplements, even external treatments help in recovering from sprains and strains and, at the same time, alleviate their symptoms - especially pain and inflammation. You may apply ointments or creams enclosing plant extracts of arnica directly to the excruciating muscles or tender joints with a view to ease pain and lessen swelling. It will also help to promote the healing process. Alternately, you may apply compresses drenched in a combination of either rosemary oil or sweet marjoram oil and water to the affected area, as it will have a soothing and pain relieving effect, while lessening the swelling at the affected part.
Commonly used essential oils for sprains and strains:
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For people enduring severe sprains, a homeopathic remedy may be taken in the potency of 6, 12 or 30th in frequent intervals according to the necessity of the condition. In effect, the medication may be taken hourly or once in two to three hours every day. It is advisable that you reduce the dosage as the condition improves.
In addition to using conventional medications, herbs and supplements as well as homeopathic remedies, you may do a number of other things to heal sprains and strains as well as ease their symptoms. For instance, you may follow the RICE acronym - rest the wounded part, apply ice to the aching area, apply compress to the damage using an elastic support bandage, and also elevate the damaged area above the level of your heart.
It is advisable that you apply ice to the painful part for about 10 to 20 minutes every time when you do so. Continue this process at intervals of two to three hours for the first two days after sustaining the injury. In effect, instead of ice, you may also apply a bag containing frozen peas. It not only works better compared to ice, but can also be molded from one place to another on the injured part.
After the swelling has gone, you may apply a hot compress or a heating pad on the affected area with a view to enhance the blood circulation in the region.
Several other medications or supplements may be taken internally or used externally to speed up the healing process of sprains and strains and some of their doses are given below.
Vitamin A: You may take vitamin A in dosage of 25,000 IU two times every day for five consecutive days. However, the daily dosage for pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant should not be over 5,000 IU.
Manganese: This is a vital mineral supplement necessary to heal sprains and strains and ought to be taken in dosage of 100 mg every day for seven consecutive days. Manganese facilitates in healing tendons, ligaments and cartilage.
Glucosamine: Glucosamine sulfate should be taken in the dosage of 500 mg thrice every day. People taking this supplement should always take it along with food. In addition, it is not advisable for people suffering from diabetes to take glucosamine sulfate.
Vitamin C / Flavonoids: Vitamin C and flavonoids are basically antioxidants and they may be taken in different dosages. You may take 1,000 mg of vitamin C and 500 mg of flavonoids thrice daily. In case you develop diarrhea, it is advisable to reduce the dosage of vitamin C.
Bromelain: This is an enzyme extracted from the pineapple plant and should be taken in dosage of 500 mg thrice daily essentially on an empty stomach. This ought to supply about 6,000 GDU or 9,000 MCU every day.
Sweet marjoram oil: Add a few drops of sweet marjoram oil to a basin of cold water and drench a towel in this mixture. Next, wring out the liquid and apply the towel externally to the affected area.
Arnica ointment: The ointment prepare from the extract of arnica should be applied topically to the aching part at least four times daily. However, care should be taken so that you don't apply this ointment on the broken skin areas. In addition, arnica ointment should never be taken orally.
Rosemary oil: Similar to using sweet marjoram oil, add a few drops of rosemary oil to a basin of cold water, soak a towel in the liquid and wring it out. Subsequently, apply the towel on the part that has been sprained or strained.
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