Sprains and strains are types of minor injuries to the soft tissues and connective tissues of the musculoskeletal system. Sprains usually refer to injuries to ligaments, but sometimes to other connective tissues, such as tendons and the capsules surrounding joints.
Strains usually refer to injuries to muscles or to the areas where muscles become tendons and are usually referred to as pulled muscles.
The most common type of sprain is the ankle sprain. Ankle sprains have differing degrees of severity. Mild or minimal sprains with no tear of the ligament usually produce mild tenderness and some swelling. Moderate sprains, in which the ligament has been partially ruptured, produce obvious swelling, bruising, significant tenderness, and difficulty walking. Severe sprains, as when the ligament is completely torn from the bone (called avulsion), make walking impossible and produce marked swelling, internal bleeding and joint instability.
Symptoms of strains include muscle soreness, muscle spasm, pain, and possibly swelling or warmth over the involved muscle.
The recommended treatment of minor sprains and strains is:
A sprained ankle should always be X-rayed to rule out a fracture.
Nutritional Supplements that could help. (Refer to the individual supplement for cautions in use.)
|Supplement/Herb||What it does||Dosage|
|Celadrin||Celadrin is a complex consisting of various fatty acids and is easily able to penetrate cell membranes, which enhances cell membrane health and integrity. A powerful anti-inflammatory agent which works quickly, making it of particular value to those with acute injury.||500 – 2000mg per day|
|Bromelain||Anti-inflammatory, it helps to reduce pain and swelling and encourages healing.||500 – 5000mg per day|
|Turmeric||Anti-inflammatory.||300 – 900mg per day|
|Glucosamine||Helps support the repair process in the joint and improve mobility by strengthening the cartilage and connective tissues. Also important if there has been a bone fracture.||1500mg daily|
|MSM||It plays an essential part in the synthesis of collagen, anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties.||500 – 5000mg per day|
|Antioxidants||Antioxidants are important in the modulation of inflammatory processes and are helpful in promoting tissue repair. A broad range of antioxidant nutrient intake is recommended to derive the maximum synergistic properties of antioxidants.||As per manufacturer’s directions|
|Vitamin C||Needed to help produce collagen and speed the healing of connective tissues.||1000mg 3 times daily|
|Arnica||Useful internally or as a cream applied topically to heal bruising.||as directed|
|Black Cohosh||Has anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and muscle relaxant properties.||500mg 3 times daily|
|Willow||Anti-inflammatory and pain relieving. The natural form of aspirin.||500-2000 mg daily|
Diet and Lifestyle Factors
Ensure sufficient rest and recovery time for the injury. Adequate amounts of calories and protein are required for the body to repair damaged connective tissue, minor sprains and strains do not require changes from a typical, healthy diet.
Eat little and often to give your body the nutrients it needs for tissue repair.
Eat 4 to 5 portions of fresh fruit and vegetables daily, as they contain high levels of anti-oxidant vitamins and amineral, which help supply the body with nutrients needed for repair and recovery.
Eat foods which have anti-inflammatory properties such as pineapple, dark and red berries, papaya, ginger, onion, apples, cayenne and turmeric.
Eat oily fish, nuts and seeds for their anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fats.
Drink plenty of water.
Avoid refined carbohydrates, sugary foods and alcohol as they all suppress the immune system and it’s ability to recover.
Homoeopathic Remedies which may help. (Refer to the individual remedy for guidance on the one that is most appropriate for you.)
- Calc Phos
- Ruta grav
- Treating a sprained wrist
- Treating a sprained ankle