If you have sprained a joint recently, you know they can be problematic for a while. We constantly need to use our ankles, hips, backs, shoulders and necks. Your body has its own natural way of healing, but here are some tips to help the process along:
1) Ice. Immediately after injuring a joint, it swells and heats up. This causes pain, and pressure receptors fire up. An ice pack directly over the sore joint for 20 minutes helps decrease the swelling and numb the area, both of which decrease pain levels.
2) Heat. When a joint is sprained the muscles in the surrounding areas are also damaged. After the initial swelling is under control and the acute phase of healing is over, generally at least 10 days after the injury, placing a heat pack over the stiff, sore muscles will draw blood flow to the area and speed up repair. Again, look to apply heat for 20 minutes at a time.
3) Fish oil. A natural food or vitamin store should carry high quality fish oil. Take 3000mg of EPA + DHA per day. This helps fight inflammation in a damaged joint. Note: Be careful of this product if you have a shellfish allergy.
4) Proteolytic enzymes. Many natural enzymes can be found at the natural food or vitamin store. Some examples are bromelain, serapeptase and curcumen. These enzymes are present in natural foods, like pineapples and curry, and have natural anti-inflammatory effects. Again, be wary if you have certain food allergies.
5) Movement. While it is not advisable to constantly agitate a damaged joint, the more a body moves around the faster it has been shown to heal. If gentle activities like walking or swimming are non-agitating they should be encouraged, as a quicker metabolism means faster healing. This is where chiropractic treatment comes into the picture. Getting the joints to move optimally means freer mobility, and with that comes more activity and faster healing.
Chiropractic care has been demonstrated over and over again, in many different studies, to increase the body’s ability to move and heal. A proper adjustment to a damaged joint will allow it to instantly begin moving and healing faster and better. Chiropractic can help with sprains of the ankles, neck, shoulders, back, hips, and all the joints of the body. Please come see us so we can help improve your health and speed up your healing. Written by Dr. James Mayne, DC