Seven Tips and Tricks to Recovering from a Sports Injury at Home
Story time! I used to play sports all the time. I was a quarterback on the boys’ team during freshman year in high school. I used to snowboard and horseback ride. I played baseball, rugby and basketball with my friends. I was a super active teen.
Then, one day in my senior year, I dislocated my knee. I wasn’t doing anything significant, just sort walking along. But knee injuries are never simple. The doctors told me that because nothing of significance triggered the dislocation, I’d have to give up a lot of my activities. Being the active and fiercely independent person I am, I got up too soon and did some injury to the other knee while I was on crutches. Now both my knees ache in the winter when it’s damp. I am slowly working on recovery. I’ve given up rough-and-tumble sports. I do yoga, I swim, and I’m slowly working my way back into horseback riding.
If I had known what was in this article then, I could have saved myself a lot of pain and probably improved my recovery time. Not that this should be taken as your only medical advice and I seriously encourage you to consult a doctor.
Well, sort of. When homeopathic arnica is used immediately after an injury, it can reduce healing time by half. Arnica montana, is a member of the Asteraceae (Daisy) Family. The flowers are used in a very diluted (homeopathic) form to treat concussion, falls, fracture, inflammation, injury, pain, physical and emotional shock, post surgical trauma and post traumatic stress. Arnica causes fluids, which have escaped due to injury, to be reabsorbed. Arnica stimulates macrophage (a type of white blood cell) activity and can reduce swelling, as well as nerve pressure. Don’t use arnica on broken skin.
Can be used before and after a workout to help loosen tight muscles. Beneficial massage oils for athletes contain essential oils of rosemary, Saint John’s Wort or Birch or Fir, which relaxes sore muscles. These essential oils must be diluted before applying to the skin so look for already prepared blends.
Soaking in the Bathtub
Yeah, a bath. Nice and simple. Get some Epsom salts and pour them into your bath. They help detox your body and relax your muscles. Beneficial herbs to add to the bathtub for achy muscles include calendula, juniper berries, Roman chamomile, marjoram, peppermint, and lavender . Simply tie a handful of the herb into a washcloth throw the bag into the tub while filling the bath with hot water. Allow the cloth to steep in the tub. It’s like taking a bath in herbal tea.
Used for sprains or torn ligaments (you should also see a doctor if the pain lasts more than a few days).
- Rest – Get off your feet, don’t try to take on too much or do too much. I know you have ha life to live and feel very busy, but it’s not worth the additional damage. Take a day or two off (more if your doctor recommends it). Lie down. Get comfy.
- Ice – Keep the injury cold. Get an ice pack, or make your own by filling a bag with ice cubes, or chilling a hot water bottle in the freezer. Apply it to the injury, when the area is numb remove the compress. Reapply when the area feels warm to the touch. Never apply ice directly to the area, always wrap it in a towel to prevent cold burns.
- Compression: compress the area.
- Elevation: Raise the injured area above the heart and keep it there. This will reduce pain and inflammation and jump start the healing process.
One of those things I always associate with arthritis. It helps reduce inflammation, and therefore joint pain. But glucosamine also helps the formation of skin, tendons, and ligaments.
If you are prone to muscle spasms, twitching and cramping, your body may be trying to let you know it needs more magnesium, available as a supplement and present in green leafy vegetables. Or try a topical magnesium spray. This is something you should also have a doctor check out. (To help with the effects of twitching and cramping, try Saint John’s Wort).
Tea tree oil is a powerful antiseptic, it helps clear chest congestion, and foot fungus. Applying tea tree oil (with a carrier oil such as jojoba or grape seed oil) can help stimulate healing in sprains.
In cases of broken bones, a physician’s care is essential, though herbs can be taken during the convalescence period to provide the minerals needed for bone repair. Nettles and horsetail provide minerals needed for bone regeneration. These can be taken three or four times daily in the form of teas or capsules.
If pain from an athletic injury is severe or breakage or fracture is suspected, please seek medical attention. Also be sure to get medical attention if a joint is swollen or out of alignment, loss of sensation occurs in another part of the body (which may be a sign of nerve damage) or pain and swelling are severe.
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